Prime Minister Mario Monti of Italy returned a 2,000 year-old statue that was smuggled out of Libya in the 1960s Saturday during his trip to Tripoli. The sculpted head of Domitilla Minor, the only daughter of Roman emperor Vespasian and Flavia Domitilla the Elder, Domitilla had two brothers: the elder who was Titus, and her younger brother Domitian. After more than 50 years away, Domitilla’s sculpted head known as Head Domitilla has made its way home.
Head Domitilla was taken from Libya’s northwestern city of Sabratha and recently auctioned at Christie’s.
The trip to Tripoli was Prime Minister Monti’s first Libyan visit since Moammar Gadhafi was killed in October and since he took office in November. Mario Monti is also an Italian Economist aside from being the Prime Miniser. He also holds the title of Minister of Economy and Finance and European Union Competition Commissioner.
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ROME | January 7, 2012
According to a Facebook status update, Amanda Knox ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito has engaged to his new girlfriend Annie, now fiancée.
Amanda Knox and her ex were found guilty in 2009 of the 2007 murder of Knox’s British roommate Meredith Kercher, in Perugia. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison and Sollecito to a 25 year sentence, although both were freed from the Italian prison in October after a court overturned their murder conviction because of unreliable DNA evidence.
For more on this story, please read: Amanda Knox ex-boyfriend has engaged.
Nearly One Thousand Tunisians landed on the Italian island Lampedusa Sunday escaping turmoil in their country. The arrival comes after the Italian government declared the immigration situation a humanitarian emergency due to thousands of arrivals of illegal immigrants last week.
Lampedusa is closer to Africa than it is to mainland Italy, although the situation has alarmed Prime Minister Berlusconi. Declaring the situation a humanitarian emergency gives authorities additional powers to control migrant flows, part of which powers block incoming boats off-shore.
Ironically, in 2008 the Berlusconi government was elected due to their promise of a crackdown on illegal immigration. Prior to the recent wave of Tunisians, the government had “virtually halted seaborne migrant arrivals by striking a deal with Libya,” according to a report in Reuters.
Migrants have been directed to a Lampedusa soccer field. Hundreds of others wrapped in space blankets slept under open skies in its port. Hotels and churches have also opened facilities.
An urgent European Union meeting to work out an efficient response has been called by Italy as it wants patrol boats stationed near the Tunisian coast in an effort to intercept migrants.
Interior Minister Roberto Maroni has blamed Tunisian authorities being unable to enforce bilateral accords on curbing illegal immigration after weeks of protests overthrew President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last month for the new exodus. Maroni, a member of the anti-immigrant Northern League, said earlier this week that there was the possibility of "terrorist infiltrations" among migrants. In addition, Maroni said that criminals could take refuge in Europe under the pretense that they are seeking political asylum.
Officials are also worried that mass protests that swept President Hosni Mubarak from power on Friday, will provoke yet another wave of migrant arrivals.
Tunisia’s foreign minister is to visit Rome next week, Interior Minister Marino stated, where the European Commission has been asked for help and hopefully the situation will be discussed upon the foreign ministers arrival.
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