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Paolo Ferri: an asset for Italy

Anybody who follows the cultural property debate will know that former Italian prosecutor Paolo Giorgio Ferri has played an invaluable part in doggedly pursuing "recently surfaced" antiquities so that they can be returned to Italy. He has called on major auction houses to withdraw lots after the items had been identified in the photographic dossiers. He also played a part in the case brought against Marion True, as well as the return of antiquities from a significant New York private collection.

He has continued to work with the Italian Ministry of Culture advising on recent claims.

It now appears that the Ministry has indicated that it wishes to part company with Ferri. Yet this is in spite of the growing number of identifications that have been made from the photographic archives (and which have yet to be claimed). The Italian authorities would be sensible to continue to use Ferri's formidable qualities to reclaim significant cultural property that has been removed from Italian territory (and from archaeological sites in Italy).

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