The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi issued his first public statement on Tuesday saying that love always defeats envy and hatred two days after he was attacked.

Mr Berlusconi, 73, was attacked on Sunday by a stature of Milan's cathedral hurled by a mentally-ill man.

His assailant, 42-year-old Massimo Tartaglia, wrote a statement of apology Tuesday from his prison cell for his “cowardly and impetuous” act.

The Prime Minister suffered a broken nose, cuts and two broken teeth. His doctor said he is to leave hospital on Wednesday with orders to rest.

His personal physician Alberto Zangrillo said the Prime Minister had been ordered not to carry out important public activities for two weeks.

Mr. Berlusconi kept on telling his staff and family members after being attacked that it is miraculous that he could have lost an eye in the attack.

He also urged everyone to stay serene and calm. And he has already cancelled plans to attend the UN climate summit in Copenhagen.

Messages of support for Mr Berlusconi continued to pour in. Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister and a close friend, said he had responded to the attack as a “real man”.