Police in Brazil Seize Sculpture Stolen in Libya

Police authorities in Brazil have seized a marble sculpture acquired online, suspected to have been stolen from a museum in Libya in 1990.

The artwork, a marble sculpture of a human head representing Asclepius, the Greek God of healing, from 400 BC, was intercepted on Thursday after officers from Brazil’s Federal Police executed a search and seizure warrant on a residence in Porto Alegre.

The sculpture was purchased on the Internet, and upon arrival in Brazil, Customs held it between February and September 2020 at Viracopos airport in the city of São Paulo. It was released to the buyer after import documents were presented.

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However, Interpol Tripoli in Libya had in a communication to its national central in Brazil requested a search for the piece, which is on its database of stolen artefacts.

According to Brazilian authorities, the sculpture will be analyzed by experts to confirm its authenticity and origin for repatriation to Libya.

The buyer will be held to clarify whether or not he was aware of its provenance.

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