Case Studies

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Paracas Mantle returned from National Gallery of Australia

Stolen from Peru’s national museum, the textile was purchased by Australia’s national museum and was returned in 1989 after several years of Peruvian demands.

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Peruvian Antiquities Seized at Dulles Airport (1981)

Dealer pleaded guilty to falsely declaring the value of freshly-looted Peruvian antiquities that he attempted to bring into the US...

Uma Maheshwar Nepal via Patan Museum

Uma Maheshwar from Nepal

A 12th century Hindu sculpture stolen from Nepal in 1982 and returned from a Berlin museum in 2000.

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Garland Sarcophagus

Second century Roman piece looted from Turkey and returned in a deal that included a tax write off for the buyer.

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Ixkun Stela 5

In 1972 looters heated this Maya monument and doused it in water, causing it to break into easily-transportable fragments.

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Las Limas Monument 1

Well-known Olmec greenstone statue stolen from a Mexican museum and abandoned in a Texas hotel room after traffickers were unable to sell it. 

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Mosaic Maya Mask

Mosaic stone mask said to have been looted from a Mexican cave and now in the collection of Dumbarton Oaks.

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Long Island University Hillwood Museum theft

Egyptian artefacts stolen from Hillwood Museum and sold at Christie’s...

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Wang Chuzhi Tomb Panel

Marble relief panel stolen from Chinese tomb in 1994 recovered from Christie’s New York in 2001. 

Lysippan Zeus

Lysippan Zeus

A small bronze statue of Zeus stolen from Rome’s National Museum of Italy in 1980 was sold at Sotheby’s New York on 9 December 2004.