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Former mafia bar reopens as 'gang-free' pub

May 4, 2013 at 11:49 AM

TURIN, Italy, May 4 (UPI) -- A former hangout for an Italian crime syndicate in Turin has reopened as a "gang-free" pub, officials say.

The new "Italia Libera" bar is run by Libera, an organization that converts former mafia property into socially responsible businesses, Italy's ANSA news agency reported Friday.

The drinking establishment was known as "Bar Italia" when it was owned by Giuseppe Catalano and was a headquarters for 'Ndrangheta, Italy's most powerful mafia organization.

"I hope this place brings refreshment not just to the palate, but to the conscience as well," said Libera director Don Luigi Ciotti in reopening the bar Friday.

More than 140 'Ndrangheta members were arrested and 169 were indicted in 2011. Catalano killed himself last year after confessing he worked for the group.

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