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September 4, 2016

In Blog News

Charlie Hebdo draws Italian anger with cartoon portraying earthquake victims as pasta

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, victim of a deadly attack by Islamist militants in 2015 for its irreverent humour, was criticised by Italians on Friday for portraying victims of an earthquake that killed almost 300 people as different types of pasta.

The cartoon was titled “Earthquake Italian style”. It depicted a balding man standing and covered in blood with the moniker “Penne in tomato sauce”, a badly scratched up woman next to him labelled “Penne au gratin”, and finally feet sticking out between the floors of a collapsed building titled “Lasagne”.

The cartoon depicts victims of the earthquake as different types of pasta
The cartoon depicts victims of the earthquake as different types of pasta Credit: Charlie Hebdo

Amatrice, a town flattened by last week’s quake, is famous for the pasta sauce – amatriciana – that carries its name.

The town’s mayor, Sergio Pirozzi, who dramatically declared “the town is gone” on the morning after the Aug. 24 earthquake, was baffled by the cartoon.

Aerial footage of Amatrice reveals devastation of Italian earthquakes Play! 00:37

“How the f___ do you draw a cartoon about the dead!” he said, according to state news agency Ansa. “I’m sure this unpleasant and embarrassing satire does not reflect French sentiment.”

The French embassy in Rome published a statement on its web site and Twitter, saying the cartoon “absolutely does not represent” France’s position, and is a “caricature by the press (and) the freely expressed opinions are those of the journalists.”