Italian Police Recover Hoard of Looted Artifacts After Year of Investigation

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ROME (AP).- Italian police have broken up a ring of looters who raided tombs for ancient artifacts and exported them illegally to countries including the United States, officials said Friday. During more than a year of investigations, authorities recovered nearly 1,700 statues, vases and other artifacts dating from pre-Roman times to the heyday of the empire. Police flagged 19 people for possible investigation by prosecutors. The artifacts were mainly dug out from tombs in the areas around Naples and Venice and included a bronze bust of the emperor Augustus, customs police in Rome said.