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Aldo Moro: Red Brigades kidnapping letter controversially sold at auction for €26,000

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By AFP  with Euronews
Aldo Moro pictured during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in October 1973.
Aldo Moro pictured during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in October 1973.   -   Copyright  AP Photo, File

A controversial letter claiming responsibility for the kidnapping of Italian statesman Aldo Moro has been sold at auction.

Rome’s Bertolami auction house sold the historical document online for €26,000 on Thursday, far beyond its original estimate.

Critics had questioned whether the sale of the leaflet -- linked to Italy's Red Brigades -- was in good taste.

Moro was abducted by the Red Brigades in March 1978 and his dead body was found in the boot of a car in Rome a few months later.

The far-left group were responsible for injuring or killing dozens of Italian judges, politicians, journalists and industrialists during the 1970s and 1980s.

But the murder of Moro -- a former prime minister and leader of the Christian Democrats -- was their most infamous crime. Five bodyguards were also shot dead when Moro was abducted.

Copies of the Red Brigades letter claiming responsibility for Moro's kidnapping exist in Italy's public archives.

But the auctioning of the document has provoked indignant reactions from the families of victims and Italian politicians.

"These pages are dripping with blood, they can't be bought and sold, they can't become a collector's item," said Mario Calabresi, the son of a police commissioner murdered in 1972 by another far-left group.

"The only place they can be kept is in places of memory to remind us of the barbarity that was terrorism," he wrote on Twitter.

The 80-line letter on sale at Bertolami's also featured the Red Brigades logo, a five-pointed star within a circle.

The auction house did not reveal its origin and described it as a "dramatic propaganda text" that revealed the motives behind the kidnapping.

Filippo Senso, an MP from the Democratic Party, said it was "very sad" to buy or sell "such a painful souvenir".

The Red Brigades letter was initially set at €600 but eventually sold for €26,000 to an unnamed buyer.