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CRIME

Shock in Italy after two young boys among three killed in Rome shooting

A man shot and killed two children playing outside their home as well as an elderly man in a town near Rome on Sunday before apparently committing suicide, officials and media said.

Shock in Italy after two young boys among three killed in Rome shooting
People stand next to the crime scene following the shooting in Ardea, south of Rome, on Sunday. Photo: CLAUDIO PERI/ANSA/AFP

Local mayor Mario Savarese said the gunman and the victims – reported to be two brothers aged five and 10, and an 84-year-old man – were from the same housing development in Ardea, where the tragedy unfolded.

The shooter holed up in a nearby apartment for three hours as negotiators tried to persuade him to come out.

Armed officers finally forced their way in and found his lifeless body, the Ansa news agency said.

He appeared to be shooting randomly when he hit the boys playing in a park.

The elderly man, who had been cycling past, reportedly confronted the killer as he was about to start shooting.

Alessio D’Amato, health commissioner for the local region of Lazio, confirmed the deaths of the children after they were taken to hospital.

“I have just received a telephone call I would never have wanted to have,” he said in a statement.

 He added: “I am deeply shocked by what happened and express all my regret and my heartfelt condolences to the family and the entire Ardea community, which today is in terrible mourning for this tragedy.”

 A lawyer representing the family said the father did not know the shooter.

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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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