TIME Italy

Italian City Hit by Quake Sues Charlie Hebdo Over ‘Macabre’ Cartoon

The local council of the quake-devastated town of Amatrice in Italy has filed a lawsuit against Charlie Hebdo for defamation over the French satirical magazine’s cartoon of the tragedy.

“This is a macabre, senseless and inconceivable insult to victims of a natural event,” lawyer Mario Cicchetti told local Italian agency ANSA after he filed the complaint on behalf of Amatrice’s local council in Rieti.

The cartoon titled “Earthquake Italian style” was criticized by Italians for its depictions of victims of the town, famous for having given its name to the tomato-based amatriciana pasta dishes. In the cartoon, a scratched woman is labelled “Penne au gratin” next to “lasagne,” which showed legs sticking out of a collapsed building.

Charlie Hebdo responded to the controversy by publishing on their Facebook page: “Italians, it’s not Charlie Hebdo who has built your homes, it’s the mafia!”

Nearly 300 people died August’s earthquake in the central Apennines Mountain region of Italy. It has left thousands homeless and injured hundreds in several towns. Amatrice, which was near the quake’s epicenter, was one of the hardest hit.

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