Italian collector’s ‘private museum’ seized by police

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Antiquities worth an estimated €150m were taken from a villa outside Rome

By Hannah McGivern. Web only
Published online: 11 April 2014


The villa in Lanuvio contained a vast collection of antiquities, many of which were arranged in display cabinets

Italy’s financial police have seized hundreds of archaeological artefacts from an art collector’s villa outside Rome.

The property in Lanuvio, south of the capital, contained a vast collection of antiquities, many of which were arranged in display cabinets, the Guardia di Finanza announced on Monday. This “small private museum” included Roman columns, decorated marbles, fragments of mosaics and wall paintings, terracotta and ceramic vases, ornamental friezes and coins.

Experts from the archaeological superintendency of the Lazio region have catalogued the full trove. The most valuable artefacts are to be exhibited at two local civic museums in Albano Laziale and Nemi.

The raid was part of an investigation into the collector’s activity between Rome and Lanuvio, which concluded with four people charged for the illicit possession of cultural heritage and state property.

The Italian Mediaset group described the collector as a retired financial manager. It reports that the confiscated objects are together worth at least €150m

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