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Weekly News – Oct 31, 2019

Sounds like a Joke

A deer walks into a clothing store…although it sounds as though it is the beginning of a joke, that is exactly what happened when a somewhat dazed and confused deer stormed into a clothing store in the fashionable mountain resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo. The famed winter resort town in the Italian Dolomites had its main shopping avenue closed for over two hours before the animal could be safely removed. The poor deer, estimated to be four or five years old, entered the upscale store and became trapped among the clothes, while the shop attendant had momentarily gone into the back stockroom. Authorities said that it was necessary to cordon off Cortina’s shopping square to allow local veterinarians to catch the animal, anesthetize it and then bring it back to the wild. Cortina Mayor Gianpaolo Ghedina said, “Luckily, all ended well. Once the animal was sedated, it was brought back to the woods and then freed.”

Gladiator Fresco Uncovered

A vivid fresco depicting an armor-clad gladiator standing victorious as his wounded and bleeding opponent stumbles, has been discovered in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The striking scene in gold, blue and red was uncovered in what experts believe was a tavern frequented by gladiators, who fought each other, prisoners and wild animals for the public’s entertainment. The scene depicts a Murmillo fighter wearing a plumed, wide-brimmed helmet with visor, holding aloft his large shield in his left hand, as he grips his short sword in the right. On the ground next to him lies the shield of the defeated Thraex, who has suffered deep wounds and is at the point of collapse. Culture Minister Dario Franceschini expressed delight stating, “It is an unprecedented discovery by Pompeii archaeologists. It is a wonder that the whole world will admire.” The fresco, roughly three feet by five feet, was found in what excavators believe was a basement room, situated nearby the gladiators’ barracks in the area of Regio V in the northern portion of the vast archaeological park. Pompeii is the second most visited tourist site in the country, after the Colosseum in Rome, with more than 3.6 million visitors in 2018.

Berlusconi Joins Salvini at Rally

Ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party joined with Matteo Salvini’s League party at a major anti-government rally in Piazza San Giovanni, Rome’s largest square. League leader Salvini had called for the protest shortly after the inception of the new government formed by his former ally, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) and its former fierce foe, the Democratic Party. The unlikely marriage of the parties, unthinkable when Salvini pulled the plug on the 14-month M5S-League government in August, has led to harsh criticism by the former Assistant Prime Minister.

New Exhibition in Catanzaro

An exhibition titled “Mimmo Rotella and Art History” has opened in Catanzaro, Calabria, the artist’s birthplace, at the Casa della Memoria house/museum dedicated to Rotella. The exhibition offers a selection of 19 works that highlight the link between the artist and some of the leading interpreters of art history. Described as a game of mirrors, the artist reinterprets, through various mediums, famous works by artists such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci and Modigliani. Examples of comparison with the past include the genius of Caravaggio in overpainting reproductions of two of his works. “It should really be a show for all the schools, because Rotella was very interested not only in himself, but also in the past, starting from classical art up to his contemporaries,” said Antonella Soldaini, the show’s curator. The show runs through August 30, 2020.

A Frozen Fraudulent

Cinghiale or wild boar, are a common sight on and near roads in rural and forested areas in Italy. It has been estimated that their numbers have nearly doubled during the last ten years. Fatal car accidents involving the creatures have prompted calls to cull their numbers in some towns. In the region of Lombardy alone, there have been roughly 400 road accidents involving the animals during the past five years. Therefore it is not uncommon for police be called in to investigate accidents involving vehicles and the beasts. A recent one in Sardinia caused the police to become suspicious. Two men claimed their vehicle had collided with a wild boar and hoped to win compensation from the region for the incident. Investigators became suspicious when they discovered the wild boar had a slit throat. A vet was called in to examine the carcass and found the animal’s internal organs were frozen. Apparently the beast had been killed and stashed in a freezer before being strategically placed at the crash site. The two men risk a hefty fine and prison term of at least a year over the stunt.

Snack Food Seizure

Italian authorities have confiscated hundreds of containers of Pringles potato chips from a supermarket in Veneto. The packaging labeled the snack as “Prosecco-flavored,” sparking outrage in the region famed for producing the extremely popular sparkling wine. The offending chips were confiscated by an Italian anti-food-fraud squad in the Prosecco-producing Conegliano area, after authorities said Pringles had used the Prosecco name without permission. The Pringles in question were produced as a special limited edition for Christmas. The company stated that it has no plans to produce the flavor in the future.