US /

US Returns $80M in Stolen Italian Artifacts

And says there are more such returns to come
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2024 2:30 AM CDT
Updated May 29, 2024 4:03 AM CDT
US Returns $80M in Stolen Italian Artifacts
Some 600 stolen works of art that were given back by the United States to the Italian Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage are displayed in Rome, Tuesday, May 28, 2024.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Italy on Tuesday celebrated the return of 600 or so works of art looted from the country years ago and finally returned by the US. Together with 60 items the US repatriated to Italy last year, the antiquities are worth more than $80 million—an amount CNN reports is just a "drop in the bucket" compared to what's still in the US. Another 100 works, not yet repatriated, were just recently seized by the team of Manhattan prosecutor Col. Matthew Bogdanos, the head of the New York district attorney's office's antiquities trafficking unit. He and US Ambassador Jack Markell appeared alongside the leadership of Italy's Culture Ministry and Carabinieri art squad at the presentation of the repatriated works Tuesday at the Central Institute for Restoration's offices in Rome, the AP reports.

Markell said the US is committed to returning looted works wherever they belong. Some of the recently repatriated items were confiscated from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, and others from philanthropists in the city who didn't realize works they were donating to the museum's collections were actually stolen. Not yet repatriated: an ancient Greek bronze statue known as "Victorious Youth" that Italy has fought over for decades with the Getty Museum in Malibu, California. The European Court of Human Rights agrees with Italy that the statue was illegally trafficked out of the country, but all Bogdanos would say on the matter Tuesday is that it's still under investigation. (More Italy stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.