Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was honoured with a state funeral in Milan on Wednesday, a day of national mourning, as his legacy – positive or negative – was being hotly debated among the people.
A crowd of tens of thousands of people erupted in applause as his flower-draped coffin was taken out of the hearse and carried into the city’s Duomo cathedral.
His children and companion wept as the coffin was placed in front of the altar.
Most Italians identify Mr Berlusconi, a media mogul, football entrepreneur as well as three-time former premier, as the most influential figure in Italy over recent decades.
But they remain sharply divided on whether his influence was for the better or worse, extending to whether he merits all the fuss and ceremony.
Mr Berlusconi died on Monday at the age of 86 in a Milan hospital where he was being treated for chronic leukaemia.
His family held a private wake on Tuesday at one of his villas near Milan, the city where he made his billions as the head of a media empire before entering politics in 1994.