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Bern University returns ancient figurines to Italy

Some of the remains of the ancient Greek city of Sybaris in southern Italy.


The Institute for Classical Archaeology in Bern has returned a collection of vases and figurines to its home in southern Italy.

The items, in bronze and terracotta, date back to the sixth and seventh centuries BC.

The institute was joined by the J. Paul Getty Museum in California in returning the artefacts, which were excavated at a site in Calabria, near what is believed to be the location of the ancient Greek city of Sybaris.

The pieces are now part of the collection of the Museum of the Archaeological Park in Sibari, the modern equivalent of the ancient city

The Cultural Ministry of Italy added that the artefacts had been donated to the collections of the American museum and the Swiss university between 1976 and 1983.

Under Italian law, all ancient artefacts found on Italian soil must be returned to the Italian state. However, Italian archeologists have yet to recover several ancient treasures which have found their way into private collections, despite negotiating their return for years.

swissinfo with agencies


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