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Heart of Palermo

Palermo's "Kidnapped" Caravaggio

From The Guardian:

"..."The letter was accompanied by piece of the painting, a tiny piece of the canvas, which was intended to make clear to me that they really had the Caravaggio in their possession," Benedetto told his interviewer. "I went straight to the superintendent and informed him of what was happening. I left him the letter and the piece of canvas."

"The mafia was doing with the painting what they normally do with kidnapping victims", says D'Anolfi, who, at 45, is now an acclaimed director and will be screening the full interview next month in Palermo. "They had sent a piece of the painting just like they normally send a finger or an ear of a kidnapping victim."

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Mafia at its weakest now

From The Guardian...

by Lorenzo Tondo in Palermo
Sun 22 Sep 2019 09.36 BST
 
I remember the day as if it was yesterday – 23 May 1992, the day that changed Sicilians' lives for ever. I remember my mother's tears as she sat glued to the TV, watching what looked like an earthquake. Cars buried in rubble, streets ripped open, dozens of photographers and police officers on the scene of what in my mind could only have been a natural disaster.

I quickly realised that wasn't the case – that a terrible murder had been committed. The white Fiat Croma buried in the dirt was carrying Cosa Nostra's number one enemy, the anti-mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone. Mafia bosses had placed 300kg of explosives under the motorway between the airport and Palermo. As the convoy of cars surrounding the Fiat got closer, the bomb was detonated, killing Falcone, his wife and three members of his police escort.



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Some good news

From The Guardian:

Eighty-two migrants have disembarked in Italy, marking a break from the era of hardline immigration measures pushed by the former interior minister, Matteo Salvini.

On Saturday night, the migrants were transferred from the Norwegian-flagged rescue boat Ocean Viking, operated by the French charities SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), to a coastguard vessel before being taken ashore on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa.

The decision follows an agreement with other EU member states, coordinated by the European commission, and most of those onboard will be relocated to other countries, including France, Germany, Portugal and Luxembourg.

It is the first time this year that Rome has allowed passengers to disembark from an NGO rescue vessel.

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