The Italian national military police announced the seizure of a huge trove of stolen antiquities from Gianfranco Becchina:
Police estimated the value of the 5,361 vases, kraters, bronze statues and frescoes at $58 million.
The works, from the 8th century B.C. to the 3rd century, were laid out Wednesday at the Terme di Diocleziano National Roman Museum and may go on public display before being returned to museums in southern Italy, from where they originated. […]
The items were found during an investigation into Basel-based art dealer Gianfranco and his wife, accused by prosecutors of being part of an antiquities trafficking network that involved “tombaroli” tomb raiders in southern Italy, dealers and buyers around the globe.
An email to Becchina’s olive oil farm in Sicily was not immediately returned. Police said he was free after the statute of limitations expired on the charges. In a recent open letter responding to police accusations against him in Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper, Becchina insisted on his innocence and said he had never been convicted, much less tried, and had never been able to defend himself.