Thursday, November 08, 2007

Italy regains looted artefacts

Italian authorities claimed another victory in their campaign against the illegal antiquities market Tuesday, unveiling eight Etruscan or Roman artifacts they say were looted from the country and returned by a New York art dealer.

The ancient treasures, including a Roman statue, bronze figurines, and exquisitely painted vases, were worth more than half a million dollars and were bought at auctions by New York dealer Jerome Eisenberg, Italian officials said.

Eisenberg was not aware that the pieces were stolen from Italian museums during the 1970s or illegally dug up, said Gen. Giovanni Nistri, who heads the art squad of the Carabinieri paramilitary police.