Two officers of the Italian police accidentally found a Roman statue in Brussels which disappeared from an archaeological site in Rome in 2011.
The agents belong to a unit responsible for the protection of cultural heritage and were in charge of a mission in Brussels. After their work, they took a walk through the Sablon district, where many antique shops can be found.
In one of the shops, they saw a man-eye marble statue, which they thought was from Italy. They took pictures of it and back in Italy, they compared them to photos in a stolen art database.
First century AD
It was a direct hit. The statue in Brussels turned out to be the artifact stolen ten years ago in Rome. It dates back to the 1st century AD and its value is estimated at 100,000 euros.
Following the discovery, the Italian Public Prosecutors Office is investigating an Italian businessman who used a Spanish sounding false name. He is suspected of healing and exporting the image. The artwork has been returned to Italy.