Greece is eagerly awaiting the return of 47 stolen Greek artifacts from the United States, after they were surrendered to authorities by hedge fund billionaire Michael Steinhardt.
The announcement was made by Greece’s Culture Ministry last Thursday and authorities said the artifacts would arrive in Greece within days.
According to Greek newspaper Kathimerini, the artifacts were part of a wider collection surrendered by Steinhardt under a deal with US authorities.
A prominent U.S. art collector and billionaire philanthropist, Steinhardt has returned 180 works of art and antiquities stolen from around the world, estimated to be worth $70 million.
An announcement by Manhattan Attorney General Cyrus Vance’s office claimed the return would allow Steinhardt to avoid indictment and trial for the time being, but bans him for life from acquiring antiques on the legal art market.
Among the treasures, authorities found an ancient Greek drinking vessel fashioned in the shape of a deer’s head dating from 400 BC and worth $3.5 million, along with an ancient Greek larnax, a type of small closed coffin, that dates back to between 1200 and 1400 BC and is worth $1 million.
The standout item is believed to be a $14 million torso of a Kouros statue dated to 560 BC.
“I thank the American authorities, their staff, as well as the staff of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, who assisted in the work of documenting and recovering the antiquities illegally exported from Greece which were included in the Steinhardt collection,” Greece’s Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said in a statement.
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