Manhattan DA returns priceless artifacts to Greece

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Repatriated Antiquities Include “The Kouros” Valued at $14 Million

Dozens of looted antiquities seized from billionaire hedge fund founder Michael Steinhardt after an investigation have been returned to the people of Greece, prosecutors in New York announced Wednesday.

The artifacts included a sculpture of a young man from about 560 B.C., known as a kouros, that is worth $14 million, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said.

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        Pictured: “The Kouros”

The district attorney’s office has accused Steinhardt of relying on a “sprawling underworld of antiquities traffickers, crime bosses, money launderers and tomb raiders” to build his collection.

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The handover of the ancient objects to Greece occurred after the district attorney's office announced a deal in December under which Steinhardt was to surrender $70 million worth of artifacts acquired illegally from Greece and other countries including Egypt, Israel, Syria and Turkey.

Under the agreement, Steinhardt will not face criminal charges but is subject to an unprecedented lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities. Steinhardt is a co-founder of Birthright Israel and a philanthropist who is chair of the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life.

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A total of 55 artifacts worth a collective $20 million are being repatriated to Greece, prosecutors said, 47 of them from Steinhardt's collection and eight from another ongoing investigation.

Along with the Kouros, the Manhattan D.A.’s Office returned 46 other antiquities seized from Steinhardt to the people of Greece, including:

  • Gold Broach, dating to 600 B.C.E. and valued at $1,300,000
  • Larnax, dating to 1400-1200 B.C.E. and valued at $1,000,000
  • Spouted Bowl, dating to 2700-2200 B.C.E. and valued at $600,000

Eight other pieces that were seized pursuant to another ongoing investigation were also repatriated.

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