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Saturday, November 12, 2011

HEAD SOLD AT CHRISTIE’S STOLEN FROM LIBYA


Head sold at Christie’s stolen from Libya
Italian buyer has voluntarily relinquished the work

By Martin Bailey | From issue 229, November 2011
Published online 31 Oct 11 (News)

London. A Roman head of a woman, which was sold at Christie’s in London on 14 April, had been stolen in Libya. It was bought at auction by an Italian for £91,250 and has now been recovered in Italy by the carabinieri.

Christie’s described it as “a Roman marble portrait head of a woman, circa first century AD”, suggesting that the life-size sculpture had been made in “an eastern workshop, perhaps Egypt”. The provenance was given as “private collection, Switzerland, circa 1975; acquired by the present owner in Switzerland in 1988”. At the time of the sale, an archaeologist contacted Christie’s to warn that lot 261 was the head of a statue at the Sabratha Museum, west of Tripoli; it had been detached and stolen in 1990.


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