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200 looted artifacts seized from the museum are repatriated to Italy – ARTnews.com

A pile relic The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that forfeitures from major museums and private collections across the United States, worth a total of $10 million, have been repatriated to Italy. Among the works seized was a 2,500-year-old ceramic vase from Getty Museum in Los Angeles; nearly a hundred Greco-Roman artifacts worth $2 million from Fordham University in the Bronx; and a terracotta goddess from the New York-based Merrin Gallery. The 150 artifacts are linked to Edoardo Almagà, a 70-year-old antiques dealer in Rome, accused of orchestrating a three-decade-long smuggling operation.

“For many years, prestigious museums and private collectors throughout the United States have prominently displayed these Italian historical treasures even though their presence in the United States constitutes evidence of crime. cultural heritage,” Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., said in statement.

The Italian is accused, among other things, of using tomb intruders to loot and illegally transport hundreds of artifacts into the United States and make false customs declarations. Based on New York Times, Almagia denied all the charges against her and downplayed the seriousness of the import violations.

“Why are they doing this now, I wonder,” he said, referring to the investigation. He added: “A lot of money is being spent terrorizing dealers when it could be used to repair museums in Italy, where a lot of the same items are at risk.”

Almagi’s troubles with Italian and American authorities over suspected antique deals dates back to at least 1996 and was cited in the investigation against billionaire Michael H. Steinhardt, who earlier this month surrendered 180 stolen items, 10 of which were purchased directly from Almagia.

According to the district attorney’s office, the individuals and organizations involved were ready to hand over the artifacts after reviewing the evidence against Almagà. Some, like the Cleveland Museum of Art, purchase items directly from Almagà, who lived in New York from 1980 to 2006.

The Museum of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Art at Fordham University, submitted 96 items, the most of any institution. The works were donated in 2007 by former student William D. Walsh, who was unaware of their suspicious origins, according to investigators. The donation, which included a terracotta water jug, valued at $150,000 and 26 well-preserved pieces of pottery, enabled the university to establish a free museum and teaching facility dedicated to the study. study the documents and cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world.

In a statement, Fordham described repatriation of items as an “appropriate action”.

“Since Fordham received the artifacts in 2007,” the statement added, “it has been transparent about their origin or lack of them, including publishing the catalog in 2012, in part to archaeologists.” Other researchers have full access to relevant information about the collection. The school still has more than 200 artifacts in its collection, which will be rearranged to optimize their use in Fordham’s teaching museum. ”

The San Antonio Museum of Art, which has since abandoned a group of Greco-Roman-style pottery and jugs, said, “We are pleased that the District Attorney has officially announced that the objects are now present. shall be returned to the Italian government. We will continue to work diligently to remedy any legal title claims that the museum becomes aware of. ”

https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/200-looted-artifacts-repatriated-to-italy-edoardo-almagia-1234613789/ 200 looted artifacts seized from the museum are repatriated to Italy – ARTnews.com

Yasmin Harisha

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