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Silvio Berlusconi, the late former Prime Minister of Italy, was given a solemn tribute on Wednesday with a national day of mourning. A state funeral took place at Milan’s Duomo cathedral, where his casket was brought in for the ceremony.

Reuters

While previous prime ministers have been granted state funerals, it is the first instance in Italy’s history that a national day of mourning has been dedicated to an ex-leader. The decision to honor Berlusconi in this manner was made by the current government, which includes members from his former party, Forza Italia. This choice has sparked controversy due to Berlusconi’s politically tumultuous career and questionable legacy.

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Outside the Duomo, tens of thousands of people gathered to bid farewell to Berlusconi. As his casket, adorned with flowers, was lifted from the hearse and placed inside the cathedral, the mourners paid their respects. Among the attendees were Berlusconi’s children, his companion, and numerous Italian political figures.

Silvio Berlusconi passed away on Monday at the age of 86. Milan holds significance in his life as it was the city where he amassed his fortune as a media mogul before venturing into politics in 1994.

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