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Italy threatens UK over refusal to return Symes artifacts

Over 700 Etruscan antiquities from the dealer's stash

22 January, 18:53
Italy threatens UK over refusal to return Symes artifacts (ANSA) - London, January 22 - Italy is determined to get the over 700 mostly Etruscan-era artifacts from the collection of the well-known but now bankrupt British antiquities dealer Robin Symes returned. The country has warned it will take legal action to do so if necessary. Maurizio Fiorilli, the Italian State legal counsel who has been overseeing the case for years, told ANSA Wednesday that talks have long been underway with the liquidators of Robin Symes Ltd, but have not achieved any results. He said that there has been no substantive response to prior requests for restitution of the artefacts, and that therefore Italy has once again demanded that "commitments made" be respected. The liquidators will be receiving legal notification on February 1, he said. "But this is not an economic issue," he stressed.

"Our request for restitution has a cultural motivation and we would undoubtedly be willing to loan the works for study purposes". (photo: archive picture of Etruscan statuette)