Italy escalates its demands for allegedly stolen artifacts

February 11, 2006|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

ROME -- With a proposed settlement from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in hand, Italian authorities are escalating their demands for the return of allegedly looted antiquities from other American museums.

The day after receiving the Met's offer to return 20 disputed antiquities in exchange for long-term loans, Italian Minister of Culture Rocco Buttiglione said that his government would pursue a combination of expanding investigations, the offer of negotiations and the threat of legal action in its pursuit of stolen artifacts. Buttiglione called the Met's agreement "a model" for resolving the disputes with other museums.

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