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The New York Times reports that New York authorities have confiscated 27 ancient artifacts from the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art. The total value of the art pieces is 13 million euros. The pieces from Italy, Greece and Egypt appear to have been stolen and will be returned.
Some of the pieces were traded by people who were suspected of dealing with the stolen artwork. One of them is Gianfranco Picchina, who has been selling artwork in Switzerland for decades. In 2001, it was revealed that he was trading illegal art.
Eight of the 27 bought the Met Becchina movie long before he was accused of illegal activity. Experts argue that when Bikina was indicted, the museum should have scrutinized the collection and categorized any looted art as such.
Back next week
The museum said in a statement that it was only recently notified of any stolen objects. The foundation says it is fully cooperating with the investigation and is looking closely at potential purchases at this time.
“The standards for collecting artworks have changed significantly over the past few decades and as a result policies and procedures are constantly under review,” the museum said.
Authorities warn that stolen art is in the hands of museums and individuals. The museum will hold a number of official moments next week to return art to its countries of origin.
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