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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 August 2007, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Star upsets Italy over Red 'hero'
French actress Fanny Ardant has apologised after calling the jailed founder of the Red Brigade guerrilla group her "hero".

Ardant angered politicians by saying she admired Renato Curcio, adding she "considered the Red Brigades phenomenon to be very moving and passionate".

The Red Brigades murdered Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro in 1976.

She later said: "My words have caused suffering to those who have suffered and for that I ask for forgiveness."

The president of Italy's Veneto region, Giancarlo Galan, asked Ardant not to come to the Venice Film Festival.

She is expected at the Venice festival as the lead member of the cast in Italian film L'Ora di Punta.

'No respect'

Christian Democrat Luca Volonte was also unhappy with the actress's comments.

"Nobody asks an actress to be intelligent or to know about the innumerable tragedies but at least [she should show] respect for the victims' families," he said.

The Marxist Red Brigades group, whose aim was to overthrow capitalist Italy, attacked government and business targets in the 1970s and early 1980s.

It was largely disbanded in the 1980s but an offshoot of the group, which calls itself the Red Brigades-Communist Combatant Party, carried out an assassination of a government advisor in 2002.

A former member of the original Red Brigades was recently arrested in Paris after 20 years on the run.

Marina Petrella, 53, was sentenced to life in absentia by a Rome court in 1992 for murder and kidnapping.

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