Stolen Frescoes Returned to Italy

Italy Fresco FragmentROME, ITALY—The AFP reports that six frescoes from the walls of ancient villas in southern Italy have been handed over to authorities in Pompeii. Three of the frescoes, including an image of a cherub, a female dancer, and a woman’s head, were stolen from two Roman houses in Stabiae as early as the 1970s and sold to collectors in the United States, Britain, and Switzerland. Like the city of Pompeii, the coastal city of Stabiae was buried in ash by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. These frescoes were recently recovered by Italian police as part of a wider investigation into artifact trafficking. Police found the other three frescoes in 2012 at Civita Giuliana, which is located nearly one-half mile northwest of Pompeii. Looters had uncovered the ancient artworks but had not yet removed them from the site. To read about the recent discovery at Civita Giuliana of the remains of two men who perished in Mount Vesuvius’ eruption, go to “More Vesuvius Victims.”


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