Kiel (Germany), – Kiel University in northern Germany on Wednesday announced that it would return four antique vases to Italy.
According to the university, the four vases, part of the city art gallery’s antiquity collection, most likely originated from looted excavations in the Apulia region and were bought with funds from the state of Schleswig Holstein.
It said the deal was made through an Italian art dealer, Gianfranco Becchina and the four vases are to be returned in 2024.
Annette Haug, head of the antiquities collection said “we have a moral responsibility to return these pieces.
Looted excavations destroy scientific knowledge worldwide.’’
Italian authorities had approached Haug and Schleswig Holstein in 2018 and the vases were allegedly exported without the permission of the Italian state.
According to the university, the purchase of vases in the 1980s and 1990s was legal under German law at the time, but not without controversy.
In exchange for the vases, the Kiel collection was to receive items on loan from Italy’s collection. (dpa/NAN)