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CRIME

Italian band’s live rig and one-of-a-kind instruments stolen in Gothenburg

An Italian metal band has been forced to cancel the rest of its European tour after thieves broke into their van in Sweden and stole the full live production rig, including one-of-a-kind custom instruments and stage props.

Italian band's live rig and one-of-a-kind instruments stolen in Gothenburg
Fleshgod Apocalypse's tour van (left) and two of the stolen guitars. Photo: Fleshgod Apocalypse

Fleshgod Apocalypse played a show in Gothenburg on April 2nd then parked their tour van outside the hotel they were staying in near the ferry port before retiring for the night.

In the morning they discovered their van had been broken into and much of the contents stolen, putting them thousands of euros out of pocket.

“They stole all of our guitars, our electronic equipment and wireless systems, some drum parts, stage props, a lights console and spare parts. We don't have an exact estimation yet, but it's something around 15-20,000 euros worth,” piano player Francesco Ferrini told The Local.

The group has released a list of the stolen items and asked musicians to keep an eye out for them in case they appear for sale in the coming weeks. Their guitars are particularly special as they are custom built.

“They're unique, custom-made instruments. They're decorated with two 'F' symbols like violins and are very easy to recognize. No one else in the world uses them,” Ferrini said.


The band's stolen bass. Photo: Fleshgod Apocalypse

The band was due to play further shows in Copenhagen, Hamburg, Brasoc and Mannheim this month but has instead returned home due to the theft, which was reported to police in Sweden.

Their endorsers are working to replace the instruments as soon as possible, but the Italian group was not so lucky with the electronics, which were not covered by endorsements.

Ferrini said fans can help by letting Fleshgod Apocalypse know if they see any of the instruments or gear appear online, or by purchasing merchandise if they so wish:

“They can keep their eyes open and check out our social media, where we posted pictures of the stolen guitars and also a list with some of the stolen gear. We don't like crowdfunding, but if they really want to help they can buy merch from our store.”

CRIME

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”

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Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”

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