Archaeology Magazine

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Ancient Roman Statue Found in Queens Warehouse

Friday, February 28, 2014

(U.S. Attorney’s Office)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK—The New York Times reports that federal investigators plan to seize on behalf of Italian officials a 1,700-pound lid to an ancient Roman sarcophagus. Discovered in a Queens warehouse, the marble lid, which depicts a reclining woman, was probably looted in the 1970s or early 1980s. Photographs of the statue were found among pictures of looted antiquities in a Swiss gallery belonging to Gianfranco Becchina, who was convicted in 2011 of trafficking in illegal Roman artifacts. “We’re still investigating, and can’t confirm who currently owns or has an interest in the property,” explained assistant United States attorney Karin Orenstein.