Swiss return stolen artefacts to Italy

19 Mar 2014 10:11 AM | Anonymous
Swiss return stolen artefacts to Italy
Thirteen-year investigation ends after thousands of items held by Basel art dealer returned

In 2001, the Italian authorities requested help from Swiss authorities in their investigation of a Basel-based art and antiquities dealer, Gianfranco Becchina, and others, for trafficking cultural heritage, receiving stolen goods and failing to declare archaeological finds. Around 5,800 objects, most of which had been illegally excavated, were seized from Becchina’s three warehouses. Once their origin had been verified, several thousand were returned to Italy in 2008. They were joined by the final batch of 68 earlier this month, but hundreds of objects of uncertain origin remain in Swiss possession.

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