United States returns 200 stolen antiquities to Italy
A New York prosecutor announced on Dec. 16 the return of 200 antiquities valued at $10 million to Italy, the latest stolen artworks to be recovered by United States investigators.
The works include a ceramic vessel dated from the 7th Century B.C.E. called “Pithos with Ulysses” and a terracotta image of a goddess entitled “A Head of a Maiden” from the 4th Century B.C.E.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said 150 of the artifacts related to his office’s investigation into Edoardo Almagia.
He was an Italian New York-based antiquities dealer who left the United States in 2003.
Vance said Almagia was investigated in Italy for trafficking and selling looted artifacts to US buyers but remains at large.
Vance added that 100 of the returned artworks had been seized from the Fordham Museum of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Art in New York.
The New York district attorney’s office has returned more than 70 antiquities to 14 countries since August 2020, including almost 30 relics to Cambodia, 100 artifacts to Pakistan, and almost 250 items to India.
Earlier this month, Vance announced that prominent US art collector and billionaire philanthropist Michael Steinhardt had returned 180 works of art and antiquities stolen from around the world -- some from ancient Greece -- that are estimated to be worth $70 million.
The move allowed the 80-year-old to avoid indictment and trial for the time being, but bans him for life from acquiring antiques on the legal art market.