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Museum will return Italian artifacts

November 20, 2008|ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Cleveland Museum of Art agreed Wednesday to return 14 ancient treasures, including Etruscan jewelry and a Medieval cross, that authorities say were looted or stolen from Italy.

Italian Culture Ministry officials and the director of the Cleveland museum signed a deal in Rome to transfer the artifacts within three months in exchange for long-term loans of other treasures.

The agreement is the latest success in an Italian campaign to recover artifacts that survived for centuries only to be dug up by looters, smuggled out of the country and sold to prestigious museums across the world.

Similar deals have yielded the return of scores of pieces from museums, including the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

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