According to the Associated Press, these 201 pieces are among thousands seized from traffickers or returned to Italy this year in large operations that also targeted trafficking networks in Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.
Of the 201 pieces returned by the United States earlier this month, 161 were repatriated to Italy and 40 are on display at the Italian Consulate in New York by March 2022.
“These works are not going to end, as happened many times in the past, all in a large museum”, said the Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini at a press conference.
Instead, he said, they will be returned to the locations from which they were stolen to be displayed in museums there.
“This is also a major return operation, which will add value to our extraordinary country as a vast museum. They are works of art of absolute importance, which will attract people to these places and territories”, said the minister.
The ‘return’ from the United States includes 96 pieces that were at the Fordham Museum of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Art, including ancient pottery and amphora, a fourth-century terracotta statue seized in a gallery in New York, and six pieces that were in the Getty Museum, including a large Etruscan ceramic vase.
Most of the stolen pieces led authorities to Edoardo Almagia, an Italian living in New York. Charges against him in Italy in 2006 were dismissed due to the statute of limitations, but in 2013 a Rome judge ordered the seizure of all antiquities in New York and Naples. Edoardo Almagia remains on the run from justice in Italy, according to the Manhattan prosecutor.