Italy Lends Antiquities to 2 Museums

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Courtesy of the Italian government, visitors to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will find an unfamiliar antiquity on view today in each institution’s classical galleries.

The artifacts are the first fruits of separate agreements that Italy reached this year with those museums to return antiquities that Italian officials have long contended were looted or removed illegally from their country. In exchange for the return of the objects — which will include the Euphronios krater, a 2,500-year-old Greek bowl considered one of the world’s finest, from the Met’s collection — Italy agreed to offer extended loans of other antiquities that have rarely or never been seen outside Italy.

The arrival of the artifacts at their temporary homes was timed to coincide with a visit to the United States by Italy’s culture minister, Francesco Rutelli, who has taken a high-profile role in his country’s campaign for the return of looted antiquities.

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