Saturday, June 29, 2013

Operation Ifegenia: Etruscan antiquities seized

One of the seized Etruscan urns
Source: MiBAC
The Italian Ministry of Culture has announced a major seizure of Etruscan antiquities in Rome [press release]. The finds included 23 Etruscan funerary urns, and some 3000 other antiquities. The haul was made by one of the protagonists in the illicit trade in antiquities ("uno dei protagonisti del commercio illecito di beni culturali").

It appears that the urns came from a cemetery in the vicinity of Perugia. Inscriptions suggest that they are likely to come from a common context, probably a family burial associated with the CACNI.

This is a reminder that removal of this sort of archaeological material destroys evidence and has intellectual consequences for the study of the past.

It will be interesting to see if any funerary urns from this haul had already passed onto the market.

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