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What You Need to Know About Italy’s Stolen Artifacts

Everything you need to know about the return of Italy’s stolen artifacts.

On January 23, Italy celebrated the return of 60 looted archaeological artifacts, many of which had been on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Italy's stolen artifacts are worth more than $20 million. Some date back as far as the first century BC and not only indicate the greatness and might of the Ancient Roman Empire but also tell a story of the proclivity of art looting from Italy, one of the most plundered art countries in the world. 

America Domani has compiled a  brief list of the most important facts by referencing Reuters, The Guardian, and CNN. Here’s everything you need to know about the most recent return of Italy’s stolen artifacts. 

Things to know about Italy's stolen artifacts:

  • The looted artifacts were stolen from Italy over the past five decades
  • The stolen artworks included: The Marble Head of Athena (worth an estimated $3 million), a fresco of Hercules as a child fighting a serpent that was stolen from Herculaneum (Pomepii’s twin city, also buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius),  a terracotta Etruscan kylix, bronze busts, ancient vases and kitchenware
  • Italy first requested that the United States return the fresco of Hercules in 1997
  • Some of the artifacts were also seized from US hedge fund billionaire Michael Steinhardt’s private collection
  • More than 250 other archaeological artifacts have been returned to Italy from the United States over the past year where they were seized from auctions, private collections, and museums
  • In the past, many looted Italian artifacts have been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and at The Getty in Los Angeles

Asia London Palomba

Asia London Palomba is a trilingual freelance journalist from Rome, Italy. In the past, her work on culture, travel, and history has been published in The Boston Globe, Atlas Obscura,The Christian Science Monitor and Grub Street, New York Magazine's food section. In her free time, Asia enjoys traveling home to Italy to spend time with family and friends, drinking Hugo Spritzes, and making her nonna's homemade cavatelli.