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IC4 train a gift from Berlusconi to Gadaffi
It now appears that Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has sent a Danish IC4 train to Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi as a present, reports technology website ing.dk.
The mysterious case of a Danish train suddenly spotted in Libya emerged last week when an international railway magazine published a photo of a Danish IC4 train on Libyan rails.
The IC4 trains are manufactured in Italy by the Ansaldobreda factory for DSB.
Initial speculation suggested that a Danish train had been sent to Libya for a test run on a new stretch of railway.
Although the trains are produced exclusively for DSB, the railway operator said the trains remain Ansaldobreda property until they are delivered to Denmark.
According to Ingeniøren, the train was sent to Libya as an Italian present to the country's leader. The train set is adorned with a message in Arabic, saying “For 40 years’ achievement” – a message thought to be a tribute to Gadaffi.
Although the train looks exactly like the other Danish IC4 trains on the outside, the inside is said to be decorated with large white sofas, carpets, curtains and floor lamps.
According to Italian media, the IC4 train was sent to Libya in conjunction with a visit by Berlusconi. Il Denaro newspaper reports that the train was paid for by the Italian government.
In addition to being a friendly gesture from Berlusconi to Gadaffi, the gift is also reported to be part of an Italian ambition to secure the country’s interests in North African infrastructure projects.