Largest Amount of Stolen Italian Artifacts Recovered

Italy’s Carabinieri recovered €50 million worth of stolen national treasures in January 2015. Over 5,300 frescoes, vases and bronze statues were found during raids of the Swiss warehouses owned by accused Sicilian art dealer Gianfranco Becchina and his wife Ursula Juraschek. In addition to the aforementioned pieces, authorities found detailed item inventories, forged provenance papers, pictures and receipts of previous sales. These may allow investigators to recover additional items illegally looted through the network.

“This is by a long shot the biggest recovery in history in terms of the quantity and quality of the archaeological treasures,” said Carabinieri General Mariano Mossa.

This discovery is the latest in Italy’s campaign to reclaim stolen national treasures. The pieces, ranging from 700 BC to 300 AD, may go on public display at the Terme di Diocleziano National Roman Museum en route to their homes in the museums of southern Italy.