A satirical cartoon depicting the victims of last week’s earthquake in Italy as dishes of pasta has sparked a wave of anger in Italy.
The cartoon, in the current issue of France’s Charlie Hebdo magazine, likens the inhabitants of the village of Amatrice to the layered pasta-and-meat dish of lasagne along with others.
The earthquake in the central Apennines Mountain region, claimed nearly 300 lives, injured hundreds of people and left thousands of residents homeless when their towns and villages were destroyed.
Amatrice was the town hardest-hit by the tremor on August 24.
230 bodies were found in the debris.
Amatrice’s mayor, Sergio Perozzi, called the cartoon in Charlie Hebdo magazine an offence to the dead, to Italy and to a community.
“This is offensive to all those Italians who wrote ‘Je suis…’, and I won’t even finish that because I don’t want to give publicity to these negative things,” he said.
“There is a difference between this and satire. Satire must stir a sentiment, I mean, to make satire from a tragedy like this that has hit an entire nation and the whole world is, I think, really ugly.”
“If this is a way to get attention, I think it speaks for itself.”
The magazine is no stranger to controversy.
In the past, it has published cartoons of a young Syrian refugee who drowned while fleeing to Europe.
It has also posted controversial sketches of the Prophet Mohammed.
However, the magazine is also heralded as a beacon for free speech. The hashtag #JeSuisCharlie trended strongly following an attack on its offices in January 2015.
#charliehebdo is trending once more.
The cartoon has sparked outrage and anger both in Italy and further afield.
However, some have raised the issue of double standards.