Join our newsletter

Italy requests return of ancient statue from US museum

Italian magistrates have formally requested that a museum in the US should return an ancient statue illegally removed from Italy in the 1970s.

The Court of Torre Annunziata confirmed to Xinhua news agency that a request has been filed with judicial authorities in the US requesting that the Doryphoros of Stabiae statue, which dates from 120-50 BC, should be returned.

The statue is a marble copy of an ancient Greek statue from around 440 BC that no longer exists.

The copy was originally found at Pompeii, the Roman city buried under a volcanic eruption in 79 AD.

The Court of Torre Annunziata is the regional court covering the city and ruins of Pompeii.

The statue was stolen in the mid-1970s and taken out of Italy by controversial antiquities collector Elie Borowski, who died in 2003, according to news reports.

The statue was then acquired by the Minneapolis Institute of Art for $2.5 million in 1984.

According to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, a museum official disputed Italy’s claim to the statue last year, saying it had been acquired legally as part of a larger deal that included five frescoed panels.