The stolen Greek artifacts were in the collection of American billionaire Michael Steinhardt.
The Ministry of Culture in Athens said Thursday that 47 artifacts from Greece, among dozens of artifacts handed over to US billionaire Michael Steinhardt under an agreement with US authorities, will be returned to Greece in the coming days. This was reported to the Greek news server Ekathimerini.com.
Bronze Bust of the Griffin and Cycladic Ships…
Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said these are ancient artifacts that were illegally exported from Greece. The items to be returned come from central Greece, Crete, the Cyclades (Paros and Naxos), as well as from the islands of Samos and Rhodes, writes the online English edition of the Greek daily Kathimerini.
Artefacts include a bronze bust of a griffin, Cycladic bowls, and bronze statues and swords. Over the past three years, the Greek Ministry of Culture’s Documentation and Protection of Cultural Property has helped US authorities investigate and help trace the origin of items exported from Greece, the server wrote.
The reports come after the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Monday that Steinhardt, one of the world’s largest collectors of ancient art, possesses looted artifacts that were smuggled from 12 countries by 12 criminal networks, according to Ekathimerini.com.
Steinhardt agreed to return the 180 artifacts to their rightful owners to avoid legal action. The Office of the Prosecutor said that the investigation conducted by the US authorities also included cooperation with authorities in Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Syria and Turkey.
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