The Italian police have recovered around two hundred stolen art treasures in the United States, which together have a value of about 10 million euros.
These include sculptures, vases and terracotta busts from ancient times.
According to the Carabinieri, researchers have traced the chain of illegal excavations. First, they ended up at American museums, auction houses, art galleries, and private collections through art dealers.
160 objects have since been returned to Italy with permission from the US. The rest are currently in the Italian Consulate in New York. Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini called the return of the art treasures “exceptional”.
Italy wants to crack down on the illegal art trade and has already seized some 1,700 counterfeit works of art and more than 23,600 archaeological objects this year. The total value is estimated at more than 427 million euros.