Dutch return looted 2nd century marble head to Italy

December 2, 2016

Dutch police have returned to Italy a 2nd century marble head that was stolen from a famous archaeological site outside Rome and offered up for auction in Amsterdam.

Italy's national police art squad says the 31-centimeter head of Roman empress Giulia Domna was worth 500,000 euros. It was stolen, apparently unnoticed, in 2012 from Villa Adriana at the Tivoli site, which is on UNESCO's world heritage list.

Amsterdam police say two people were arrested and charged with theft and trying to sell the sculpture.

Carabinieri Maj. Massimo Maresca said an Amsterdam auction house flagged the artifact to Italian authorities in 2015 after a woman purporting to be its owner tried to auction it off. Italian police notified their Dutch counterparts.

Dutch authorities returned the head during a ceremony Friday in Amsterdam.

Explore further: Ancient Ten Commandments tablet sold at auction for $850,000

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