Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager’s 143 Looted Artifacts Returned To Italy
New York prosecutors announced that stolen antiquities from thousands of years ago were returned to Italy after a multi-year investigation into billionaire hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt’s art collection.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. said Steinhardt is considered one of the world’s most prominent ancient art collectors and seized 180 stolen antiquities valued at $70 million. Of that,142 antiquities valued at nearly $14 million were returned to Italy this week.
Manhattan District Attorney’s office began investigating the fund manager in 2017. He has denied wrongdoing and wasn’t charged for acquiring the stolen antiquities, though New York prosecutors slapped him with a lifetime ban against acquiring antiquities.
“Though the pieces being repatriated today have a written price tag of millions of dollars, the historical, artistic, and cultural values attached to each of the relics are immeasurable and priceless,” Bragg said. “These artifacts deserve a place in their homeland, where the people of Italy can jointly appreciate the marvels of their country’s past.”
Among the repatriated artifacts, the most valuable one was a fresco depicting young Hercules strangling a snake, valued north of a million dollars.
Bragg’s office said the fresco was “hacked from the wall” by tomb looters in 1995 from an ancient town called Herculaneum, located in modern-day Campania, Italy.
In 2017, Bloomberg valued Steinhardt’s art collection at around $200 million. The billionaire’s lawyers, Andrew J. Levander and Theodore V. Wells Jr., provided a statement to CNN, insisting their client bought the stolen artifacts from art dealers who “made specific representations as to the dealers’ lawful title to the items, and to their alleged provenance,” adding: “To the extent these representations were false, Mr. Steinhardt has reserved his rights to seek recompense from the dealers involved.”
Sat, 07/23/2022 – 07:35