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U.S. billionaire surrenders $ 70 million of stolen art | U.S. News

Billionaire, a U.S. hedge fund, has abandoned $ 1.8 million of predatory and illegally smuggled ancient relics and banned the acquisition of other relics for an unprecedented lifetime as part of an agreement with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. ..

Michael Steinhart, one of the world’s largest collectors of ancient art, “showed a greedy appetite for looted crafts,” district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said Monday.

The lifetime ban marks a dramatic culmination of international research officially launched in 2017.

According to DA’s office, investigations have found “convincing evidence” that ancient relics were stolen from 11 countries and at least 171 people passed through traffickers before being acquired by Steinhardt. rice field.

The confiscated works lacked verifiable evidence before they entered the international art market, the agency said, and carried out 17 judicial-ordered search warrants in Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Israel and Italy. He added that he had conducted a joint investigation with the law enforcement authorities. , Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Turkey.

Steinhardt, who was chairman of the board of WisdomTree Investments before retiring in 2019, denied criminal misconduct in resolving the issue and ended the grand jury investigation.

Vance said:

“New for exhibition and sale, as reflected in the vast underground world of ancient traffickers, criminal bosses, money launderers, and tomb intruders he relied on to expand his collection. The additional pursuit did not know the geographical or moral boundaries. “

Vance said the relic would be returned to its legitimate owner, rather than being held as evidence of the years required to complete the grand jury’s indictment and trial.

“With this resolution, my office will identify the identities of many domestic and foreign witnesses whose names will be announced in court to protect the integrity of the parallel investigations in each of the 11 countries conducting the joint investigation. You can also protect, “he says. Said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Steinhardt, a magnificent ceremonial ship in the shape of a stag head, appeared without source, dating back to 400 BC after being plundered in Milas, Turkey. Rhyton was surrendered. It’s worth $ 3.5 million.

Another treasure is a toddler strangling a snake to kill a snake purchased for $ 650,000 from an ancient trafficker convicted in 1995 when Heracles was looted from a Roman villa in the ruins of Heracles. Near modern Naples, including the El Corano fresco depicting Heracles. Today it is valued at $ 1 million.

For over 15 years, leading archaeologist Professor Christos Tsirogiannis has identified over 1,550 looted relics in auction houses, commercial galleries, private collections and museums. A former senior field archaeologist at the University of Cambridge and now an associate professor at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Aarhus University in Denmark, he has helped secure the ancient return by warning Interpol and other authorities. ..

He tells the Guardian: “Many of the dozens of relics identified in the Steinhart collection use photo archives confiscated from convicted dealers and traffickers to become the world’s” most reputable “top dealers and auction houses. First appeared.

“In November 2014, Steinhardt first warned the DA office in New York when he identified a very rare prehistoric Sardinha idol auctioned at Christie’s in New York. An ancient convicted infamous. In an archive confiscated from the relics dealer Giacomo Medici, I found an image of the same idol broken apart. The object was withdrawn and repatriated to Italy … The incident gradually took place in Steinhardt’s office. And led to the assault on the house, with the results we see today. “

“Steinhart is pleased that the district attorney’s many years of investigation have been completed free of charge and that items illegally taken by others will be returned to his home country,” Steinhart’s lawyer said in a statement. ..

U.S. billionaire surrenders $ 70 million of stolen art | U.S. News

Source link U.S. billionaire surrenders $ 70 million of stolen art | U.S. News

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