Italian Police Recover Hoard of Looted Artifacts Dug From Tombs

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Ancient artifacts are displayed to the media during a press conference, in Rome. 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. -  AP Photo/Angelo Carconi.

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.