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Varieties News Kingdom of Bahrain: Italy Successfully Repatriates Stolen Ancient Artifacts from the U.S.

Italy Successfully Repatriates Looted Ancient Artifacts from the U.S.

Italy has triumphantly reclaimed 266 ancient artifacts, with an estimated value reaching tens of millions of euros, from the United States. These valuable pieces were originally smuggled into the U.S. and sold during the late 1990s through an international network of illicit artifact traffickers.

Among the repatriated treasures are artifacts dating back to the 9th century BC, encompassing periods such as the Etruscan civilization, Magna Graecia, and Imperial Rome.

The collaborative efforts between Italian and U.S. judicial authorities played a pivotal role in facilitating the return of these artifacts, as stated by a specialized unit of Italy’s carabinieri police in a recent announcement.

Images provided by the Italian culture ministry unveil the assortment of retrieved artifacts, which includes intricately painted pots, a statue head, and a selection of coins. These artifacts were showcased during a restitution ceremony held earlier in New York.

The statement further revealed that 145 pieces were reclaimed as part of bankruptcy proceedings against an antiquities dealer.

Notably, 65 artifacts were sourced from the Menil Collection museum situated in Houston, USA. However, the museum clarified that it had been presented with the artifacts as a potential donation. Subsequently, the museum redirected the donor to the Italian Minister of Culture, who subsequently informed the museum of Italy’s rightful claim over the objects.

A spokesperson for the Menil Collection elucidated, “The Menil Collection declined these works from the collector and they have never been part of the museum’s collection.”

This repatriation stands as a significant achievement in safeguarding cultural heritage and returning these invaluable artifacts to their rightful origin.

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