Italians Decry Extravagant Funeral for Alleged Mafia Boss

The funeral of Vittorio Casamonica, allegedly a mafia boss, at San Giovanni Bosco church in Rome / Photo: IPA/
The funeral of Vittorio Casamonica, allegedly a mafia boss, at San Giovanni Bosco church in Rome / Photo: IPA/

Romans aghast at revelations of official corruption tied to the mafia found new reason for outrage after the Hollywood-style funeral of a purported local crime boss – replete with a gilded horse-drawn carriage, flower petals tossed from a helicopter and the theme music from The Godfather playing outside the church.

Hundreds of tearful mourners paid their final respects to Vittorio Casamonica, 65, at the San Giovanni Bosco church on Rome’s outskirts.

The Casamonica clan has been accused of racketeering, extortion and usury. Rome city hall said on Thursday that Vittorio Casamonica himself was the subject of “many investigations into Roman criminality”.

“Never again. Rome cannot be defaced by those who want it to became the set of the Godfather,” said Matteo Orfini, president of the ruling Democratic party.

“You conquered Rome, now you’ll conquer paradise,” read a banner affixed to the entrance of the church. “King of Rome” read another, featuring Casamonica’s image, the Colosseum and St Peter’s Basilica.

Mayor Ignazio Marino called Rome’s prefect demanding to know how such a scene could have taken place and said it was “intolerable that funerals are used by the living to send mafia messages”.

The parish priest, the Reverend Giancarlo Manieri, said he had no control over what happened outside the church and that inside the funeral was celebrated normally, the Ansa news agency reported.

Lawmakers expressed outrage at the scene, which played out on TV newscasts all afternoon and evening: six black horses pulling an antique black-and-gold carriage to a stop in front of the church as a band played music from The Godfather and mourners tossed bouquets of flowers as the casket was carried into the church.

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SOURCE: The Guardian

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