Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the district attorney of New York County, has formed a unit to deal with stolen antiquities, writes Henri Neuendorf of Artnet. The unit’s creation coincides with the return of a trio of statues that were looted from Temple of Eshmun in Lebanon during its civil war. US officials in New York retrieved the sculptures earlier this fall.
“My office’s newly formed Antiquities Trafficking Unit is committed to stopping the trade of stolen antiquities from historic sites around the world,” said Vance. Since 2012, his office has recovered more than $150 million worth of illegally acquired artifacts.
The new unit will be led by Matthew Bogdanos, a Marine who spearheaded a probe into ransacked antiquities from Iraq. The outfit will collaborate with foreign governments and the US Department of Homeland Security to locate misappropriated works.