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Madonna donates money to Italy quake victims

 Madonna leaves the high court in Lilongwe March 30, 2009. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna - Reuters
Madonna leaves the high court in Lilongwe March 30, 2009. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna
— image credit: Reuters

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - U.S. pop star Madonna has donated a "substantial sum" to the victims of Monday's earthquake in central Italy, her London publicist said on Wednesday.

The 50-year-old singer's paternal grandparents lived in the village of Pacentro, close to where the earthquake struck killing 260 people, until 1919.

"I am happy to lend a helping hand to the town that my ancestors are from," Madonna said in a statement. "My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones or their homes."

The spokeswoman did not say how much money Madonna donated, but celebrity website People reported the sum was around $500,000.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White)

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