Criminalita from the Italian Press

I’ve got a major backlog of items from Italian sources, so I’ve decided to break them up a bit and treat all the ‘busts’ in a single post — besides being an organizational principle, it does highlight how the marketing of illicit antiquities continues to be a major problem in Italy, despite recent successes (some of these date back to May). Ecce:

We’ll begin with an item detailing the outcome of four major operations which resulted in the recovery of some stolen Byzantine frescoes stolen from Caserta in 1982, the return of some 250 items from Switzerland (apparently out of goodwill by a pair of dealers whose names aren’t given), a pile of items recovered from a villa, and some Egyptian-related items which some tombaroli had taken (value – some 3 million euros):

Not sure if this is the same as the ‘pile of items recovered from a villa’ mentioned above; a pair arrested at Salerno:

A man from Orta Nova was found in possession of 18 coins dating to the 3rd/4th centuries, as well as a pile of amphorae and other antiquities with a value of some 400 000 euros:

Brief/vague item on the recovery of a pile of fourth century items:

Brief/vague item on the recovery of some amphorae from some villas (not sure if this is the same as mentioned in the first piece):

700 items found in various tombaroli homes in Foggia after some information from Germany (not sure if this is connected to the Orta Nova thing above)

Discovery of a 50m long tunnel at Pompeii and the arrest of a tombarolo who was apparently using it are raising concerns about the security of antiquities there:

Arrests in Taranto arising from attempts to sell ancient/medieval coins and jewelry on the Internet:

An ongoing archaeological dig was hit by thieves in Montebello:

Police at Messina recovered five amphora taken from an unknown (nearby?) shipwreck:

A couple of metal detectorists were found working on the archaeological site of Torre Mordillo:

A seventy-year old at Torino was arrested with a pile of ancient coins:

… and another 70-year-old from Ivrea was similarly arrested with a pile of ancient coins:

… while a seventy-two-year-old from Frosinone was arrested with a couple of hundred Etruscan artifacts:

I guess they need to keep a closer eye on the pensioners in Italy … what’s sad, of course, is that the above only represents those who managed to get caught …

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