The Met, Ending 30-Year Stance, Is Set to Yield Prized Vase to Italy

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Reversing a position it has held for more than 30 years, the Metropolitan Museum of Art said yesterday that it would relinquish ownership of a 2,500-year-old Greek vase, considered one of the world's finest, to Italy.

The Italians have long contended that the vase was stolen from an Etruscan tomb near Rome and smuggled from the country.

In documents delivered yesterday in Rome by the Met's lawyers after weeks of negotiations, the museum pledged to return the vase, known as the Euphronios krater; 15 pieces of Hellenistic silver; and four other vessels from the Classical era to Italy in exchange for long-term loans of other prized antiquities. Under the proposal, the Met would accept no liability for acquiring objects determined to have been looted, maintaining that it bought them in good faith.

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