Gang stole valuable statues from parks in Italy for Spanish clients
Police from Spain and Italy have teamed up to crack an archaeological smuggling gang which stole valuable artefacts from parks and private gardens, with one piece alone being worth 200,000 euros.
During the investigation, six home searches were carried out in Barcelona (5) and Alicante (1) as well as in two other establishments of purchase and sale of archaeological objects in Barcelona. The pieces have been moved by road and ship to Italy to be at the disposal of a Roman court.
The first investigations took place when the agents were aware of the existence of an organisation dedicated to the pillaging of archaeological sites and the theft of artistic-historical pieces in Rome. Later, these sculptures were commercialised in Spain between different antiquarians and stores specialised in the purchase and sale of this type of objects, with the buyers being fully aware of their illicit origin.
Officers managed to recover two sculptures. The first of these was located in an antique shop in Barcelona, a Roman marble bust representing the Emperor Septimius Severus, from the II-III century AD and valued at 45,000 euros, which had been stolen in the Botanical Garden of Rome. The second was found in Madrid and it was a female sculpture in white marble, dated in the second century AD.and valued at 200,000 euros, which had been stolen in the gardens of a Roman private residence.
The third sculpture was located in an antique shop in Barcelona. This time it was a statue representing “Diana Cazadora” in marble from the 18th century, which had been stolen in the Villa Borghese Park in Rome.