Dutch return looted 2nd-century marble head to Italy

AP News
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Posted: Dec 02, 2016 6:19 AM

ROME (AP) — Dutch police have returned to Italy a 2nd-century marble head stolen from the Tivoli archaeological site and offered up for auction in Amsterdam.

Italy's carabinieri art squad said Friday the 31-centimeter head of the Roman empress Giulia Domna was worth 500,000 euros. It had been stolen, apparently unnoticed, in 2012 from Villa Adriana at the Tivoli site, which is on UNESCO's world heritage list.

Carabinieri Maj. Massimo Maresca said an Amsterdam auction house had flagged the artifact to Italian authorities in 2015 after a woman purporting to be its owner offered it up for auction. Italian police then contacted Dutch police who investigated and arrested the woman, Maresca said.

Dutch authorities returned the artifact during a ceremony Friday in Amsterdam, with Maresca in attendance.