Starting next week, Rome will show off the 13 disputed antiquities that Boston's Museum of Fine Arts recently returned in a victory for Italy's aggressive efforts to gain back ancient treasures the nation contends were illegally exported.
The exhibit "Archaeology celebrates: 13 masterpieces come home" will run Oct. 10-29 at National Roman Museum.
Late last month, Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli and Museum of Fine Arts director Malcolm Rogers signed the deal for the return of the antiquities.
Among the artifacts are a statue and a bas-relief believed to have decorated Hadrian's Villa outside Rome.
The agreement promises loans of other Italian treasures to the MFA.
Under a 1939 law, all antiquities found in Italy must be turned over to the state.
Rogers contended the treasures were purchased in good faith, but that the antiquities were returned after Italian authorities presented them with fresh evidence of their illegal origin during yearlong negotiations.
Italy's efforts to regain its antiquities include criminal prosecution. Marion True, a former curator for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, is on trial in Rome along with American art dealer Robert Hecht for alleged trafficking in looted artifacts. Both have denied wrongdoing.
Earlier this year, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art agreed to return 21 artifacts to Italy, but Boston's antiquities were the first to come home to Italy.
After the Rome exhibit, the pieces will go to museums closer to their places of origin.
... this sort of thing seems to be becoming a trend ... spoils of war?