Carabinieri and FBI together recover three stolen Greek artworks

A joint operation by the Carabinieri and FBI resulted in the recovery of three stolen Greek works.

The Carabinieri’s Comando Tutela Patrimonio Culturale, in a joint operation with the U.S.FBI, recovered three works from the Greek era: a small vase for oils and ointments, a wine jug and a food bowl, which had been placed on the market by two well-known Italian art dealers and then included, in April 2017, in a list of objects intended for sale in a New York auction house. The found works were handed back, in the presence of Minister Alberto Bonisoli, during a ceremony held at the Italian Embassy in Washington to celebrate 15 years of collaboration between Italy and the United States of America created to find artifacts stolen from our country and placed in the international illegal trade. The meeting also featured the “Saving Art Preserving Heritage” catalog and 16 other objects recovered through the collaboration between Carabinieri and FBI.

Bonisoli stated: "I consider the results achieved thanks to this collaboration exemplary and I firmly believe in the need to continue the path of cooperation started more than 15 years ago between Italy and the United States, which, in addition to the activity of countering the market for stolen goods, has offered a variety of opportunities for academic research and wider enjoyment of Italy’s immense heritage, including through the loan of our works of art to some of the greatest American museums. I would like to thank for the excellent work the Carabinieri of the Comando Tutela Patrimonio Culturale and the U.S. authorities who have allowed important pieces of our history to return to Italy. In the coming weeks, a government-initiated bill will be presented in the Council of Ministers, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the department I represent, to ratify the Nicosia Convention on crimes against cultural heritage. In particular, there will be an organic reform of specific crimes, with a significant tightening of the penalties applied. Cultural heritage is a fundamental part of our identity. Nevertheless, we also count on the international community to help us protect and preserve them for future generations. This is our common commitment."

Ambassador Armando Varricchio, on the other hand, said, "It should come as no surprise that Italy, a country with an unparalleled cultural heritage, has placed the preservation of cultural heritage high on its agenda both nationally and internationally. The successes we have achieved in this field are based not only on the determination of the Italian government, but also on the effective cooperation we have with our partners and friends around the world and in particular with the United States. Tonight we celebrate our heritage, our culture and the extraordinary cooperation that my country has established with the United States of America."

Commander of the Carabinieri Cultural Heritage Protection Command, Fabrizio Parrulli, said: "Today’s event, the presentation of the publication, the display of assets that have been returned over time to our country and those that have been returned to us today, represent a source of pride and satisfaction for those who, like the Carabinieri’s Cultural Heritage Protection Command and U.S. federal agencies, including in particular the Department of Homeland Security - Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, work to establish a culture of restitution: a commitment that the United States of America and Italy, for years, have been mutually implementing and spreading so that the virtuous circuit of sensitivity and awareness that is the basis of any effective action to prevent and suppress the illicit trafficking of cultural property is increasingly realized."

Pictured: the returned artifacts on display in Washington (photo Mibac)

Carabinieri and FBI together recover three stolen Greek artworks
Carabinieri and FBI together recover three stolen Greek artworks

Warning: the translation into English of the original Italian article was created using automatic tools. We undertake to review all articles, but we do not guarantee the total absence of inaccuracies in the translation due to the program. You can find the original by clicking on the ITA button. If you find any mistake,please contact us.