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CRIME

Actor from mafia film Piranhas stabbed in Naples

A teenage actor who appeared in the award-winning film "Piranhas", about child criminals in Naples, has been stabbed in the Italian organised crime stronghold.

Actor from mafia film Piranhas stabbed in Naples
Actor Artem Tkachuk (L) poses with a younger cast member on the red carpet at the screening for the film "Piranhas" (La Paranza dei Bambini) at the 69th Berlinale film festival in Berlin. Photo: AFP

Ukranian 18-year old Artem Tkachuk played one of the gun-wielding, drug-peddling teens in the film, based on a novel by renowned investigative journalist and mafia expert Roberto Saviano.

Tkachuk was attacked by a so-called “baby gang” in the early hours after a night out last week with a friend, local media reported on Monday.

The actor was stabbed twice while his friend was beaten. Neither suffered life-threatening injuries.

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Police believe the youngster may have been set upon because of his role in the film, which won the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the 69th Berlin film festival in February and is coming to European cinemas this summer.

Italy's right-wing League party is backing a bill which would lower the age of criminal responsibility in the country from 14 to 12, which the party says would tackle the phenomenon of young people joining gangs at an ever-lower age,

According to the National Observatory on Childhood and Adolescence, 6.5 percent of youngsters in Naples — home to the feared Camorra crime group – belong to gangs.

Anti-mafia author Saviano has lived under armed guard since publishing his international bestseller “Gomorrah” in 2006.

Gomorrah author Roberto Saviano. Photo: Christophe Simon/AFP

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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