The New York judiciary on Thursday returned Italy 14 looted and stolen works of art, some dating back to ancient Rome and Greece and worth $2.5 million that were the subject of international trade to the United States.
The New York State Judiciary has been conducting a sweeping campaign for more than two years to recover antiquities looted from some twenty countries and ended up in museums and galleries across the megalopolis, including the renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, more than 700 pieces worth more than $100 million were returned to 17 countries last year, including Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Greece and Italy.
The 14 works – some 2,600 years old – which were returned Thursday during a ceremony attended by Italy’s Consul General Fabrizio Di Michele and Italy’s Carabinieri, are part of a lot of 214 pieces (worth a total of $35 million) being returned to Rome The last seven months hailed the services of the Bragg prosecutor in a press release.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has had a unit to combat the international antiques trade since 2017.
Because New York has been a hub for decades.
According to the publication, the 14 works have returned – including a silver tetradrachm coin from Naxos, Sicily, dating to 430 BC. and a marble head of Emperor Hadrian from AD 200 JC 2012.
These men “counted on gangs of grave robbers to steal select archaeological sites because they were poorly protected around the Mediterranean,” the New York judiciary condemned.
The most emblematic case of art dealers in New York is that of collector Michael Steinhardt, who in 2021 had to return around 180 antiques worth $70 million stolen over the past few decades.
An amicable settlement with the American judiciary allowed him to escape prosecution, but prohibits him for life from acquiring works on the legal art market.