Saturday, June 13, 2009

Butrint Return: from Albania to Rome via London

Last month I commented on the return of a head of Asclepius that had been excavated at Butrint in Albania. The head had been seized from the Rome collection of Massimo Rossi back in 2005. It appears that the sculpture had been purchased at Christie's in London at an auction on July 6, 1996, lot 430 (Besar Likmeta, "Stolen Antiquities Face Difficult Journey Home", June 12, 2009). It is not clear who consigned the head to Christie's.

Likmeta also comments on a head of Livia that seems to have disappeared from Butrint at the same time. This is said to have been offered to a museum in Germany by Robert Hecht. Hecht returned the portrait to Albania in 2000.

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