Naples artisans make bloodied Berlusconi figurines

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The Independent Online

The weekend attack on Silvio Berlusconi has inspired artisans in Naples to create Christmas figurines of the Italian prime minister with a bloodied face.

Just three days after Berlusconi, 73, was struck in the face with a souvenir model of the Milan cathedral, the figurines - of the sort traditionally produced for Christmas nativity scenes - appeared in shops in the southern city on Wednesday.

Two versions of the figurines, known as santoni, were spotted in shop windows alongside more traditional ones portraying Jesus and Mary.

In one, Berlusconi has a white bandage around his head and blood besmirching his face and collar.

In another, he is carrying a dossier under his arm as if headed into a cabinet meeting, again with blood oozing from facial wounds but sporting a confident smile.

Every year, Christmas tourists snap up Naples' santoni, which are often inspired by news events.

In Milan, models of the cathedral such as that used in the assault on Sunday have also been selling well.

Berlusconi, suffering from a broken nose, two broken teeth and other facial injuries, was ordered to stay another night in hospital Wednesday.

The assailant, Massimo Tartaglia, 42, who police said has had longstanding psychatric troubles, faces assault charges punishable by up to five years in jail.

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