This is part of the outcome of the three year duration Operation "Ulisse" noted in the Italian press earlier this week ("GDF Roma recupera reperti, c'è affresco Pompeiano", ANSA, February 19, 2008). It is said that the objects were removed from archaeological sites in Tuscany (sc. ancient Etruria) and Lazio, and had then moved to Milan, Geneva and Brussels.
Some of the most precious antiquities, including the fragmented fresco, were found at an elegant Paris mansion owned by a French publishing magnate, whose name was not disclosed. The Italian authorities said they had pressed charges against 31 people, including the publisher.Among the recovered items are:
- "An ancient mosaic of a dark-haired boy"; "a virtually intact mosaic showing a young boy with cropped black hair and large black eyes"
- "a fresco from Pompeii"; "The fragments show gardens, fountains and parts of a villa that was once home to Poppea Sabina, the wife of Emperor Nero." (ANSA identifies the location as Oplontis.)
- "Etruscan goblets"
- "large Greek vases" (some, according to AP, "Italians recover looted ancient artifacts", IHT, February 19, 2008, from Apulia)
- a Greek kalpis
Poppaea's Villa at Oplontis (from ANSA)