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ROME - The editor of an Italian gossip magazine planning to print topless photographs of Prince William's wife Catherine said Saturday the pictures were "a scoop" he could not let pass.
"First of all, if I wasn't capable of recognizing the true value of a scoop I would do better to go and sell artichokes at the market," Alfonso Signorini, editor of the weekly magazine Chi, told the ANSA news agency.
"Secondly, and regarding the law, the photos do not harm the dignity of a person, they are not morbid or exciting -- unlike the ones of Prince Harry published by the English papers," he added.
Britain's top-selling daily The Sun broke ranks with the rest of the British press last month and defied royal orders by running photos of Prince Harry, William's younger brother, frolicking naked in a Las Vegas hotel suite.
A spokesman for William and Catherine on Saturday denounced the "greed" of an Irish Daily Star newspaper, which printed the papers on Saturday.
And the family has also warned Chi magazine that "unjustifiable upset" would be heaped upon Catherine if it went ahead with its plans to print the photos.
But Signorini argued that the paparazzi photos were taken on a terrace, in a public place, in conformity with the laws regarding private life.
The photos of Catherine, who was sunbathing at a private chateau in the south of France wearing just her bikini bottoms, appear to have been taken from a road some distance away using a long lens.
Chi magazine has already said it will devote 26 pages to the pictures in an edition coming out on Monday.
Both Chi and the French magazine Closer belong to the Mondadori Group which is owned by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi -- himself no stranger to scandals involving revealing photos taken by paparazzi.