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Europe’s pride

Italy’s city of shame Matera becomes Europe’s pride

METERA: Fifty years after Italy's Matera was a national embarrassment because of its extreme poverty, the city is rescuing its dignity, baroque palaces and cave churches to become a European Capital of Culture. "Yes, it's true, we went from shame to glory," Matera mayor Raffaello De Ruggieri told journalists ahead of the southern city's year-long stint as a European Union-designated cultural crossroads in 2019. In the 1950s, prime minister Alcide De Gasperi, one of the EU's founding fathers, was outraged by Matera's…