782 Ancient Artifacts Recovered From Belgian Collector

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Officials Seize 782 Ancient Artifacts Acquired Illicitly by Single Belgian Collector

by Nora McGreevy/Smithsonianmag.com

Eagle-eyed archaeologists at an Italian lab first realized something might be awry when they noticed a strange item crop up in a European exhibition catalog. As the Associated Press (AP) reports, the image of a limestone stele, or funerary slab dating to pre-Roman times, looked suspiciously similar to another fragment held in a local museum in Puglia, a region in Italy’s southeastern tip.

Italian law forbids the export of cultural heritage items excavated in the country. If the stele was transported out of Italy for the exhibition, which traveled to Geneva and Paris, the move likely took place illicitly.

Authorities launched an investigation into the stele in 2017. The inquiry soon snowballed into a much larger project than anticipated.

Four years later, the Italian Carabinieri has finally recovered the stele and returned it to its country of origin. In addition to the slab, the team uncovered 781 ancient Apulian artifacts and pieces of pottery, all of which have now been sent back to Italy. Dated to between 600 B.C. and 300 B.C., the trove of treasures’ estimated value is $13 million (€11 million), according to a statement from Eurojust, the organization that facilitated international police communication during the investigation.

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

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