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Italy hits back at Charlie Hebdo avalanche cartoon

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Italy hits back at Charlie Hebdo avalanche cartoon
Firemen chat at the avalanche rescue centre. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
13:00 CET+01:00
After French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons targeting Italy's avalanche victims, some Italians responded with some illustrations of their own...

"Let's respond to Charlie Hebdo's macabre provocation with life," said Sergio Pirozzi, the mayor of Amatrice, in response to a cartoon seen as mocking the victims of Italy's recent extreme weather.

The original picture was published on the magazine's Facebook page with the caption: "The snow has arrived".

The Grim Reaper is shown skiing down a mountain, as buildings and trees collapse in the background. 

Plenty of people, both French and Italian, commented on the Facebook post to say they were "ashamed" of the magazine - but Pirozzi had his own idea of how to hit back against the cynicism.

The Amatrice mayor called on his social media followers to submit their own cartoons in response to the image, and shared the responses.

In the above submission, an alpine rescuer overtakes the bemused Grim Reaper, shouting "tie" (ha!).

Plenty of the designs showed the rescue workers - made up of firefighters, police, alpine rescuers and volunteers - stopping Death in his tracks.

 
The drawings have received thousands of 'likes' on Facebook and Pirozzi has named them 'vignette per la vita' (cartoons for life).
 

The caption of the image below, which is also translated to French, reads "one-way flight to France" - though several commenters were quick to point out that the magazine should not be taken as representative of the country.

"Charlie Hebdo has never represented France," wrote Massimo Vavolo, who stressed "the spirit of freedom and tolerance which France has towards everyone".

Another image shows a voice call from under the snow, saying "Charlie... toh!", which roughly translates as 'Here!', as a pair of arms break free.

And the design below takes aim at the magazine's illustrator, showing a large turd holding a pencil and admiring the original picture, saying: "It's finished!"

 
Pirozzi's town, Amatrice, has previously been the target of Charlie Hebdo's satire itself.
 
The satirical magazine caused an outcry in Italy by publishing three pasta-themed cartoons on the subject of last year's earthquakes, including one portraying victims crushed under layers of lasagna.
 
Injured Italians were compared to other pasta dishes in the drawings, with blood likened to pasta sauce.
 
Published only days after the quake struck on August 24th, killing nearly 300 people, the cartoons struck a raw nerve, prompting Interior Minister Angelino Alfano to say he knew where the authors "could stick their pencils".
 
The French publication responded with a follow-up cartoon showing a woman crushed under ruins and the caption: "It is not Charlie Hebdo who builds your houses, it is the mafia."

The town announced last September that it planned to sue the satirical weekly, a largely symbolic move in response to the "macabre illustration".

 

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