In a major win for Italy’s fight to regain its stolen cultural heritage, the Carabinieri art police have seized 750 looted archaeological treasures from British antiquities trader Robin Symes. These artifacts, valued at €12 million ($12.9 million), have been returned to Italy following a lengthy legal battle. They will now be exhibited at Rome’s Castel Sant’Angelo museum, joining a larger collection of recovered stolen art. The Ministry of Culture highlighted the diverse nature of the objects, providing insights into ancient Italy and its islands. Among the recovered pieces are a bronze tripod table, horse parade headgear, funerary paintings, marble male busts, fragments of statues and bronzes, and a wall painting depicting a small temple, likely from a residence near Vesuvius. The collection also features precious gems set in gold, silver, bronze, bone, and amber.

These artifacts were illegally acquired through secret excavations on Italian soil. Legal action was pursued against his company, resulting in bankruptcy proceedings in the UK. The commander of the Carabinieri Art Squad announced that an additional 71 objects, currently in the United States, will be recovered soon. The return of these 750 objects represents a significant milestone in Italy’s ongoing efforts to reclaim its stolen treasures. The Minister of Culture emphasized the importance of protecting and preserving the country’s cultural heritage while thwarting the activities of unscrupulous traffickers.