U.S. Files Suit to Forfeit Italian Antiquity Linked to Convicted Smuggler

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Thursday, May 1, 2014
Author: 
Bruce Zagaris
Volume: 
30
Issue: 
5
Abstract: 
 On February 27, 2014, the United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York filed a civil complaint in federal court seeking forfeiture of an ancient Italian sarcophagus lid, an ancient Roman antiquity which features a high-relief sculpture of a sleeping woman.  Italian authorities say the piece matches photographs found in the files of convicted antiquities dealer Gianfranco Becchina. The complaint alleges the antiquity is the property of Italy and hence forfeitable as stolen property that was unlawfully introduced into the United States.[1]