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LA STAMPA

The 'Lovers Of Valdaro,' The 6,000-Year-Old Tragic Italian Couple, Need A New Home

Four years after being discovered in northern Italy, the skeletal remains from six millennia ago have just been displayed in public for the first time. But local officials say tragedy would repeat if they were left without a permanent home, which could at

The remains of the entwined Neolithic lovers
The remains of the entwined Neolithic lovers

Worldcrunch NEWSBITES

MANTUA - For 6,000 years, two young lovers have been locked in an eternal embrace, hidden from the eyes of the world. This past weekend, the "Lovers of Valdaro" -- named for the little village near Mantua, in Northern Italy, where they were first discovered - were seen by the public for the first time.

The lovers are in fact two human skeletons, dating back to the Neolithic era, which were found in a necropolis in the nearby village of Valdaro in 2007, huddled close together, face to face, their arms and legs entwined. They were displayed this past weekend at the entrance of Mantua Archeological Museum, thanks to the effort of the association, "Lovers of Mantua," which is seeking a permanent home for the ancient couple.

After the discovery, many thought that the couple had been killed. It would fit in well with the history of an Italian region famous for many tragic love stories. Mantua is the city where Romeo was exiled and was told that his Juliet was dead. The composer Giuseppe Verdi chose it as the location for his opera Rigoletto, another story of star-crossed love and death.

But subsequent research revealed that the skeletons did not have any signs of a violent death. They were a woman and a man, between 18 and 20 years old. Some have wondered if they died together, holding each other in a freezing night. Professor Silvia Bagnoli, the president of the association "Lovers in Mantua," doesn't exclude this possibility, but says that more likely the skeletons were laid out in that position after their deaths.

The mystery might never be solved. Still, many want to see the couple. The association "Lovers in Mantua" is campaigning for their right to have a room of their own. According to Bagnoli, 250,000 euros will be enough for an exhibition center, and another 200,000 euros could pay for a multimedia space to tell the world the mysterious story of these prehistoric lovers.

Read more from La Stampa in Italian

photo - City of Mantua

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Russia

No Putin, No Russia? Why Losing The War Wouldn't Destroy The Russian Federation

Predictions about the collapse of Russia are as old as the country itself. Yet a consistent centralization of power has gone on for decades, weakening Russia's territories and republics. The war in Ukraine changes everything and nothing.

Photo of a Russian flag during Unity Day celebrations

Russian unity day celebrations

Aleksandr Kynev

-Analysis-

The prediction “Russia is about to fall apart” has been a mainstay of the political science-futurist genre for the 30 years since the end of the USSR and establishment of the Russian Federation.

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Now, the war with Ukraine has drastically reduced the time-frame for such apocalyptic forecasts to come true. First, because it turns out that Russia can very well lose the war; and secondly, a defeat would weaken Vladimir Putin’s regime — and who knows if he will retain power at all?

“No Putin, no Russia” is a more recent refrain.

This line of thinking says that the weakening of the central government will push the regions to act independently. Yet noted political scientist Alexander Kynev explained in an interview with Vazhnyye Istorii why he doesn't believe anything like this will happen. The collapse of Russia is unlikely even if Putin loses.

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