Mafia plot: Tower of Pisa

  • 27 Januari 2014
Tower of Pisa
Image caption The Leaning Tower of Pisa is an iconic Italian monument.

The Mafia planned to blow up the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, according to a former member of the Italian criminal organisation who is on trial in Sicily.

Back in the early 1990s the gangsters carried out a series of deadly bombings in a war with the authorities, who were trying to break their power.


Alan Johnston


Listen to the report

This trial is attempting to get to the bottom of the scheming of the Mafia more than twenty years ago. And it's just heard from someone who may know a great deal.

He's Gioacchino La Barbera, a Mafia man involved in the killing of a prominent magistrate. But he switched sides. And he's a witness now for the prosecution.

He said that after murdering the magistrate, the Mafia looked for more targets. And it plotted to blow up the magnificent, ancient tower in Pisa. The Mafiosi were aiming to strike a major psychological blow at the height of their war with the state.

La Barbera said the plot only failed because the authorities found a cache of explosives that was earmarked for the job. Of course, the credibility of this kind of witness has to be questioned. He's a man whose life has been steeped in organised crime.

On the other hand, at about the same time as the alleged plot in Pisa, the Mafia did bomb the famous Uffizi art gallery in Florence. It was clearly in the mood to strike at the kind of historic monuments that are the pride of Italy.


Listen to the words

get to the bottom: mencari kebenaran

scheming: plot, rencana

magistrate: hakim untuk perkara pidana ringan

Mafiosi: anggota Mafia

cache: tempat penyimpanan rahasia

earmarked: yang akan dipakai

credibility: kredibilitas

steeped in: sangat terlibat

alleged: dugaan

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