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Morgantina Venus returns home

Priceless statue returned after landmark deal with Getty Museum

04 April, 15:19
Morgantina Venus returns home

(ANSA) - Palermo - A famous 5th-century BC statue of the Greek goddess Aphrodite has returned to an ancient Greek site in Sicily as part of a landmark deal between Italy and the John Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

The so-called Morgantina Venus, stolen by tomb raiders 30 years ago and later sold to the US museum for $18 million,  fllew from LA to Rome Thursday in three pieces.

It was taken by truck down to Aidone near Enna in April where it was installed in the town's antiquities museum.

A full-scale show is expected to be inaugurated at the start of May, officials said.

The priceless Hellenistic artefact was returned after a Swiss antiquities trafficker was convicted in the case and then culture minister Francesco Rutelli forged a pioneering agreement with the Getty in 2007, paving the way for similar accords with other US museums.