Friday, 4 July 2008

Apulian Pottery Returned to Italy

The Italian authorities announced today that France has handed 50 pieces of Apulian pottery dating to the 4th-3rd centuries BCE [press release]. The objects are reported to have been seized back in 2000 from an Italian citizen by French customs officials at one of the border crossings with Spain. Sandro Bondi, the Italian Minister, paid tribute to the co-operation between France and Italy.

Spain (and a dealer in antiquities based in Barcelona) also appeared in details of "Operation Ghelas" that related to looting in Sicily, Lazio and Puglia.

Are these 50 pieces the tip of a continuing trade? And would they have surfaced with a history, "from an old Spanish collection"?

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