Antiquities and Archaeology Thefts Italy

Police recover hundreds of stolen Roman artefacts

Illegally excavated items worth €500,000 were found at developer's luxury house

The cultural heritage protection unit of the Italian carabinieri recovered hundreds of illegally excavated and stolen Roman artefacts and coins in late 2011.

A total of 317 artefacts, valued at €500,000, were found at a developer’s house on the outskirts of Rome. A number of illegally excavated works decorated the exterior of the property. Nine people are under investigation.

Meanwhile, part of a marble architrave with inscriptions dating to the first century AD, was spotted in a bar in Rome by the same officer who, in 1993, recovered the other half of the same fragment; the architrave had been stolen from the Museo Comunale di Terracina in 1959.

A search of the bar owner’s house led to the recovery of another 26 artefacts, valued at €600,000. The architrave is back in Terracina.

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