Thousands of stolen artifacts recovered by Italian police

Following a large-scale operation, Italian authorities have announced the recovery of thousands of artifacts with significant historical and financial worth, some of which were taken from graves and archaeological sites.

During the operation, which involved hundreds of officers, 21 out of 51 suspects were arrested, as disclosed during a press conference held in the southern Italian region of Puglia on Wednesday, CNN reported.

The arrested individuals are currently under investigation for their involvement in various offenses, including clandestine excavations, receiving stolen goods, and the illicit domestic and international trade of highly valuable archaeological discoveries.

Renato Nitti, the chief prosecutor overseeing the investigation in Trani, Puglia, highlighted the gravity of the charges in a press statement.

In total, authorities recovered 3,586 artifacts of “inestimable historical, artistic, and commercial value” across several regions in Italy, including Puglia, Basilicata, Campania, Abruzzo, Lazio, and Trentino Alto Adige.

Vincenzo Molinese, the head of Italy’s Carabinieri art police, revealed this information during the press conference. Additionally, 60 metal detectors and other tools associated with clandestine excavations, such as long metal spikes and shovels, were also seized.

Written by staff