Rome, Jan 23 (EFE).- Italy said Monday it had repatriated some 60 stolen archeological objects from the United States, where they had been sold by international art traffickers.
Among the artifacts worth more than $20 million were a 1st century AD fresco of young Hercules choking snakes and a marble head of Athena.
Italian culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano called in a press conference the retrieval of the artifacts “a great success within the framework of activities to combat the illicit trafficking of goods belonging to our nation.”
After conducting a massive investigation, the Italian art police located the artifacts that had been put up for sale by art brokers in the US.
“These 60 items represent the looting of Italian archaeological sites by unscrupulous traffickers in order to obtain illicit profit,” the police said.
“For too long they have remained in museums, private homes and foreign galleries without any property rights. To unmask these criminals, years of diligent and difficult investigative work have been required,” they added.
In 2022, some 74,748 archaeological and paleontological artifacts were recovered, according to official figures on Monday.EFE