Trove of Italian artefacts recovered from British trafficker

16th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Italian police Friday displayed more than 300 antiquities worth more than 15 million euros (19 million dollars) that were recovered from former British art trafficker Robin Symes in Geneva.

The 337 pieces spanning from the eighth century BC to the fourth century AD, including a stunning marble statue of Venus, were arrayed in Rome's Colosseum for the benefit of journalists and photographers.

The trove including precious earthenware kraters (vases) and kylixes (drinking cups) as well as bronze objects, iron surgical instruments and even some Pompeiian frescoes were returned to Italy in late June.

They come from Rome's Lazio region, southern Apulia, Sardinia and the area known as Greater Greece, or ancient Greek possessions in what is now southern Italy and Sicily.

Symes, once one of London's most prominent art and antiquities dealers, went bankrupt after a court awarded the family of his late partner half of the business. Now 70, he served seven months of a two-year sentence for contempt of court in 2005.

© 2010 AFP

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