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Italy makes ‘revenge porn’ a crime

Italian MPs unanimously approved a new law on Tuesday criminalizing the unsolicited sharing of compromising erotic pictures or video, known as "revenge porn".

Italy makes 'revenge porn' a crime
In Italy, sharing compromising pictures is now punishable by up to six years in jail. File photo: Jung Jeon-Je/AFP

The offence will be punishable by between one and six years in jail, and fines of up to €15,000.

The proposal was put forward by the rightwing opposition party Forza Italia of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. It is part of a reform bill dubbed “Code Red”, which aims to give greater protection to victims of violence and stalking.

READ ALSO: Italy considers harsher sentences for attacks on women

Italy's ruling populist coalition — made up of the hard-right League party and anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) — had largely rejected the revenge porn proposal last Thursday, arguing it wanted a special law targeting the issue rather than making it part of the “code red” reform.

The move had sparked anger in the assembly and the discussion of the text had to be postponed after opposition members both from the left and right staged a protest.

Discussions were relaunched on Tuesday and the amendments eventually approved by all political sides.

READ ALSO: Italy just made it easier to claim self-defence if you hurt or kill an intruder

“Reason has won. If we voted yes today, it was solely thanks to the protest of opposition parties,” Forza Italia lawmaker Mara Carfagna said following the vote.

Meanwhile, the League party was forced to drop a suggested change seeking the voluntary chemical castration of sexual violence perpetrators after the M5S fiercely opposed the proposal.

Under the proposal, a person found guilty of sexual violence could have opted for reversible medical castration instead of going to jail.

READ ALSO: Italy's Salvini calls for chemical castration for alleged rapists of American au pair


Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

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CRIME

New York returns 214 stolen artworks to Italy in seven months

Authorities in New York announced on Thursday the return to Italy of 14 more antiquities, worth an estimated €2.3 million, as part of an investigation into smuggling of stolen artifacts.

New York returns 214 stolen artworks to Italy in seven months

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has been conducting an extensive investigation over the past two years into looted antiquities that have ended up in New York museums and galleries — including the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art.

During a ceremony on Thursday with the Italian consul general and Italian police representatives, 14 more artifacts – some 2,600 years old – were officially returned to Italy, bringing the total number of repatriated pieces to that country over the past seven months to 214, District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said.

READ ALSO: Italian ‘art squad’ police recover 800 illegally-excavated archaeological finds

More than 700 pieces worth more than $100 million have been returned in the past year to 17 countries, including Italy as well as Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, and Greece, the statement added.

New York, a hub of stolen antiquities trafficking for decades, set up a task force in 2017 to investigate the illicit trade.

According to the statement by District Attorney Bragg, who took office in January 2022, Thursday’s repatriation included the silver “Sicily Naxos Coin,” minted around 430 BCE and currently valued at half a million dollars.

Other notable items included ancient pottery dating to 510 BCE, and amarble head of Roman Emperor Hadrian, dating to 200 CE.

Among the culprits behind the 14 returned pieces, the statement said, were well-known art traffickers Giacomo Medici and Giovanni Franco Becchina, as well as Robert Hecht, the Paris-based American art dealer who died in 2012.

The traffickers had “relied on gangs of tombaroli (tomb raiders) to loot carefully chosen and insufficiently guarded archaeological sites throughout the Mediterranean,” it added.

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