Switzerland Returns Over 300 Antiqut

Bloomberg is reporting that Italian police have exhibited portions of 337 stolen antiquities valued at nearly $20 million which were recently returned to Italy by Switzerland.

The article is short, so I will post in its entirety.

Bloomberg reports

Italian police unveiled some of the 337 pieces of stolen antiquities valued at 15 million euros ($19.5 million) repatriated last month after being recovered in Switzerland.

The collection includes Greek urns and vases, pieces of frescoes, bronze statues and marble sculptures produced between the eighth century B.C. and the fourth century A.D. The items were illegally excavated in Italy and smuggled out of the country, police said.

“We could make 10 museums abroad with what we’ve brought back,” General Giovanni Nistri, head of Italy’s cultural heritage police, said today at a press conference inside Rome’s Coliseum, where dozens of the pieces were displayed.

Italy has increased efforts to recover ancient artwork that authorities say was illegally excavated and smuggled abroad. The campaign led to a dispute between Italy and the J. Paul Getty Trust over allegedly looted antiquities on display at its Los Angeles museum. The Getty agreed in August 2007 to return 40 pieces including a statue of Aphrodite that authorities said was looted from Sicily.

The pieces unveiled today were recovered in a joint operation with Swiss authorities from an unidentified Japanese art dealer storing them in Geneva. He turned over the goods voluntarily after the police provided evidence that they had been looted from Italy. They were repatriated on June 25 and are believed to have come from illegal excavations in the regions of Lazio, Puglia, Sardinia and areas in southern Italy where the ancient Greeks maintained colonies, the police said in a statement.

No comments: