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Florence moves to revoke Dante exile

June 17, 2008 at 7:43 PM

FLORENCE, Italy, June 17 (UPI) -- The city council of Florence, Italy, has approved a measure to do away with the 700-year-old exile of "Divine Comedy" poet Dante.

The council approved a motion that called for the city's mayor to organize "a public rehabilitation" for Dante, who was sentenced in 1302 to exile from Florence under threat of death, ANSA reported Tuesday.

The motion, which passed by a 19-5 vote, calls for the mayor to head a public ceremony where the sentence would be revoked and the poet would be given the city's highest honor. The award would be accepted by one of Dante's descendants, the motion said.

Center-right politicians, who suggested the measure, said it was "a decisive step towards Dante's complete rehabilitation."

However, Green councilors, who had opposed the measure, called it a "stunt" and said Dante's suffering at being exiled from his beloved city was linked to his "sublime poetic dimension."

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