The artwork squad unit of the Carabinieri police intercepted and confiscated them final yr as a part of ‘a wider investigation on the worldwide trafficking of archaeological items’, an announcement mentioned.
The Pompeii Archaeological Park’s press launch exhibits a fresco depicting a heavily-armed gladiator standing victorious over his opponent gushing blood which has been found at Pompeii, Italy’s tradition ministry mentioned in October 2019. Illustration picture. AFP
Six frescoes hacked off from the ruins of historical Roman villas years in the past have been returned to the Pompeii archaeological park, Italian police mentioned on Tuesday.
Three of them – one depicting a cherub, one other a feminine dancer and the third the top of a lady – got here from two historical Roman homes in Stabia, a web site just a few kilometres from the principle Pompeii excavations.
They’re believed to have been stolen way back to the Seventies, smuggled out of Italy and bought to collectors in the USA, Switzerland and Britain.
The artwork squad unit of the Carabinieri police intercepted and confiscated them final yr as a part of “a wider investigation on the worldwide trafficking of archaeological items”, an announcement mentioned.
The opposite three frescoes had been discovered by police in 2012 in an unlawful dig in Civita Giuliana, round 700 meters northwest of Pompeii, earlier than thieves had time to take them away.
In the identical spot, which has since been taken over by official authorities, archaeologists discovered final yr the stays of two victims of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, presumed to be of a younger slave and his older grasp.
Pompeii, situated close to Naples in southern Italy, is without doubt one of the archeological wonders of the world, because it holds the remarkably preserved stays of an historical Roman metropolis destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.
The ruins have survived to today after being coated for hundreds of years by a metres-thick layer of volcanic ash and mud, permitting a rare diploma of frozen-in-time preservation each of metropolis buildings and of residents unable to flee.