Greece to claim 'stolen' antique vases on sale in London

AFP , Thursday 26 Oct 2017

Greece's culture ministry on Thursday said it would seek to reclaim two "stolen" 2,300-year-old antique vases recently put on sale in London.

"Two marble funerary vessels, made by Classical-era Attic workshops, were recently put on sale at the Frieze Masters art exhibit in London," the ministry said in a statement.

"They are a lekythos (oil vase) depicting a funerary procession and a loutrophoros (water vase) with carved decoration, dating from the 4th century BCE," it said.

"These two Greek antiquities are already being claimed by the culture ministry, which will continue efforts to repatriate them using every possible means," the statement said.

The ministry did not elaborate on which part of Greece the vessels are believed to have been stolen from.

According to reports, the vessels were part of a collection of 5,000 looted antiquities seized in 2015 from the Swiss home of an Italian art dealer, and returned to Italy.

At the time, Italian police had seized more than 5,000 ancient artefacts in a record 45 million euro ($53 million) haul after dismantling a Swiss-Italian trafficking ring.

Frieze Masters, an annual fair held in early October in London, showcases art from the ancient era and Old Masters to the late 20th century.

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