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Tuesday June 18, 2024

US returns $80 million-worth of stolen artefacts to Italy

Over 600 artefacts stolen from Italy finally make it back to their rightful owners

By Web Desk
May 29, 2024
Some 600 stolen works of art that where given back by the US to the Italian Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage. — Euro News/File
Some 600 stolen works of art that where given back by the US to the Italian Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage. — Euro News/File

The United States has finally returned around 600 looted antiquities worth €60 million to Italy.

The US ambassador, Jack Mitchell, along with the head of the antiquities trafficking unit of the New York district attorneys office, Matthew Bogdanos, and members of the US Homeland Security Investigations department, were part of the mission to return the looted artefacts, CNN reported.

These valuable objects included ancient bronze statues, gold coins, mosaics, and manuscripts, among other things. 

The trafficked works, pillaged from the Italian regions of Lazio, Campania, Puglia, Calabria, and Sicily, were found in New York and New Jersey last year.

According to Bogdanos, the returned works, along with 60 items repatriated last year, are worth more than $80 million (or roughly €73.6 million). 

However, Bogdanos says that these are merely a drop in the ocean compared to the artwork still hidden away in private warehouses and on display in museums around the US.

Among the returned artefacts were a cuirass and two bronze heads dating back to the 4th–3rd century BC that were confiscated from a gallery owner in New York.

There was also an Umbrian bronze statue depicting a warrior stolen from an Italian museum in 1962 that was found in a well-known American museum.