Entertainment & Arts

Stolen art returned to Italy from New York

Reuters Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The bronze statuette was stolen from the Oliveriano Archaeological Museum in Pesaro

An ancient statuette and an 18th Century painting have been returned to Italy, having turned up in New York decades after being stolen.

The painting, The Holy Trinity Appearing to Saint Clement, is by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, a Venetian artist born in 1696.

Prosecutors believe it was stolen from a house in Turin in 1982.

The bronze statuette of Hercules dates to the 5th or 6th Century and vanished from a Pesaro museum in 1964.

The Tiepolo reappeared at a New York auction in January last year, when it was seized by the FBI.

The statuette was discovered when it was offered for sale by an auction house in Manhattan.

"For decades, two significant pieces of Italian heritage have been on the run," said FBI assistant director Diego Rodriguez.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Tiepolo, a Venetian, is considered the greatest Italian Rococo painter

Italy has spent the last decade campaigning to retrieve art and cultural artefacts its government says were looted or stolen.

Other countries have also taken action in recent years to reclaim antiquities, sometimes with help from US authorities.

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