Should the Louvre hide the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Rosetta Stone, Venus de Milo and The Code of Hammurabi along with thousands of other nick knacks? Is there no honor amongst thieves?
Dozens of ancient artifacts investigators believe were looted have been seized from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
The office seized 27 artifacts from the Met using three search warrants. They will be repatriated to their countries of origin, a spokesperson for District Attorney Alvin Bragg told CNN.
“We have two repatriation ceremonies next week, one with Italy and one with Egypt,” the spokesperson told CNN. “Fifty-eight objects will go back to Italy, 21 from the Met. Sixteen to Egypt, six from the Met.”
Bragg’s office did not detail where the other artifacts were seized from, nor did it describe the artifacts seized.
The effort to return cultural artifacts to their home countries after being illegally sold to private collectors or museums has been ongoing. In August, New York officials returned 30 antiquities to Cambodia, including a 10th-century Khmer sculptural “masterpiece.”
Officials also returned stolen antiquities worth nearly $14 million to Italy in July, including dozens of artifacts seized from US billionaire Michael Steinhardt.
In 2021, the Met returned three African art objects, including a pair of 16th-century Benin brass plaques, to Nigeria. The move came after European museums began returning stolen African art to their native countries following mounting pressure to return the irreplaceable artifacts plundered during colonial times.