14 art objects were returned to Italy, which were illegally exported from Italy and partly originated from thefts or looting. Among the cultural goods are an ancient drinking vessel from the 6th century BC, a bronze helmet from the 3rd or 4th century BC, and a Venetian jewelry box from the 16th century.
German Minister of Culture Claudia Roth: "Combating the illegal trade in cultural goods can only succeed through joint efforts at European and international levels. German-Italian cooperation is a prime example in this regard. Thanks to the trustful collaboration, we have achieved more returns with Italy than with any other European country. Today's return not only secures and preserves significant cultural heritage but also demonstrates once again the effectiveness of the Cultural Property Protection Act."
Since the Cultural Property Protection Act came into effect in 2016, numerous significant art objects have been returned to their countries of origin worldwide. In March 2022, Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth had already returned five illegally traded art objects to Italy from Germany.
A successful example of combating illegal art trade is the story of the jewelry box returned today. The intricately decorated object, adorned with wood inlays and carvings made of animal bones, originated from the famous Embriachi workshop in Venice and was produced in the 16th century. In 2006, the jewelry box was stolen from the Castello Sforzesco Museum in Milan. Subsequently, it was smuggled to Germany via the United Kingdom and Belgium and offered for sale. There, the jewelry box was found and secured by the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office.
Image : courtesy of the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office
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