Handwritten book by Mussolini among stolen Italian artefacts found in Illinois home

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Thousands of stolen Italian artefacts, including ancient Etruscan treasures, medieval papal letters and even a book preface handwritten by Mussolini, have been discovered piled up in the Illinois home of an antique dealer, according to the FBI.

The secret collection of John Sisto ran to some 3,500 items and was discovered by relatives after his death in 2007, squirrelled away in hundreds of boxes stacked five feet high at his home in Berwyn.

Nearly half the items were identified as stolen and will be returned to Italy, the FBI said.

Investigators said the collection, valued between $5 million and $10 million, had been shipped to Mr Sisto over two decades by his father, who lived in Italy and probably bought the treasures from thieves who looted them from churches, libraries and museums.

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