Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Italy Wants Antiquities Held in England Returned

Thursday, January 16, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND—Responding to rumors that a British liquidator is selling off artifacts from the collection of disgraced antiquities dealer Robin Symes, Italian officials are reportedly considering suing for the return of an estimated 700 items from the collection, claiming that the artifacts were removed from the country illegally. The rumors suggest that the objects are being sold in the Middle East to start-up museums in order to recoup taxes owed by Symes’s bankrupt firm to the British government. “It would be good to have official announcements from all the governments concerned about the Symes case, so that everyone can learn the whole truth about the key questions: why are the objects identified by the Italian state not being sent to Italy? Are the other governments concerned claiming any objects too? If so, how many and which are they?” commented archaeologist Christos Tsirogiannis.