Stolen art seized from New York museum

Stolen art seized from New York museum
Stolen art seized from New York museum

Metropolitan Museum of Art

NOS Newstoday, 04:50

New York authorities have seized 27 ancient artifacts from the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art, The New York Times reports. The art objects have a combined value of 13 million euros. The pieces from Italy, Greece and Egypt appear to have been stolen and will be returned.

Some of the objects were once traded by people who were suspected of dealing in stolen art for some time. One of them is Gianfranco Becchina, who had an art dealership in Switzerland for decades. In 2001 it was revealed that he was trading illegal art.

Eight of the 27 pieces bought Becchina’s ‘Met’ long before he was charged with illegal activity. Experts argue that when Becchina was charged, the museum should have scrutinized the collection and labeled any looted art as such.

Next week return

The museum said in a statement that it was only recently notified of any stolen items. The institution says that it is fully cooperating with investigations and that it is currently looking much more closely at possible purchases.

“The standards of art collecting have changed significantly over the past few decades and policies and procedures are constantly being revised as a result,” the museum said.

Authorities warn that much more stolen art is in the hands of museums and private individuals. The museum will hold a number of official moments next week to return the art to the countries of origin.

The article is in Dutch

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