December 7, 2016

FBI New York Hosts Italian Carabinieri in Formal Ceremony to Return Roman Statue Stolen 33 Years Ago

Press release text available in both English and Italian.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McGarrity of the New York Field Office and Joon H. Kim, Deputy U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, formally presented the Torlonia Peplophoros statue to Generale di Brigata Fabrizio Parrulli of Italy’s Carabinieri in a ceremony today at the New York Historical Society Library. The statue was briefly available for public viewing for the first time in 33 years. The statue will soon return to Italy, where it will be displayed again for the public to view at one of Italy’s prominent art museums.

Torlonia Peplophoros is a Roman marble peplophoros statue that was stolen on November 11, 1983, from Villa Torlonia, a historic residence owned by the Municipality of Rome, Italy. The statue was one of 15 statues stolen along with other items from Villa Torlonia.

The statue was brought into the United States unlawfully in the late 1990s and was sold in Manhattan in 2001 for approximately $81,000 to a private owner residing in New York City. When the owner discovered it was stolen while attempting to sell it at an auction in 2015, the statue was voluntarily turned it over to the FBI. A civil forfeiture complaint was filed on February 25, 2016, by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. There will be no charges filed against the former owner of the statue, and the FBI has closed its case.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McGarrity said, “Today’s ceremony is just one example of the FBI’s commitment to restore significant arts and antiquities to their rightful owners, and we remind everyone of the significant role they serve in preserving the history of the world.”

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, "On a November night in 1983, the Torlonia Peplophoros, a marble statute listed on Italy's national archive, was stolen from its home in a Roman villa. When it emerged in New York City more than 30 years later, having been unlawfully smuggled into the United States, our office, working with the FBI, forfeited the statue as stolen property. Today, we have the pleasure returning the Torlonia Peplophoros home where it belongs with the Italian people."

Torlonia Peplophoros is a Roman marble peplophoros statue that was stolen on November 11, 1983, from Villa Torlonia, a historic residence owned by the Municipality of Rome, Italy. The FBI returned it to Italy in 2016.

Generale di Brigata Fabrizio Parrulli said, “Over the years the investigative cooperation between Carabinieri TPC, FBI, and US Department of Justice has continued to consolidate leading to extraordinary results in recovering important works of art illicitly removed from Italy.” 

The FBI would like to thank the New York Historical Society for hosting the repatriation ceremony in their library.

This case was investigated by members of the FBI New York’s Major Theft Squad, who serve on the FBI’s Art Crime Team. Since its inception in 2004, the FBI’s Art Crime Team has recovered more than 14,850 items nationwide, which, in total, are valued at over $165 million.
The FBI reminds the public to come forward with any information they may have about stolen art or cultural heritage items. Tips can be submitted to the FBI’s Art Crime Team at (212) 384-1000 or at tips.fbi.gov. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Art and cultural item buyers are recommended to review the FBI’s National Stolen Art File prior to a purchase to avoid civil forfeiture of stolen items.

L’FBI Ospita I Carabinieri Italiani ad una Cerimonia per la Restituzione della Statua Romana che fu’ Rubata 33 anni fa’ 

L’agente in carico del’ FBI, Michael McGarrity, dell’ufficio di New York e Joon H. Kim –Vice Procuratore degli Stati Uniti del Distretto Sud di New York, hanno ufficialmente presentato, oggi, la statua Torlonia Peplophoros al Generale di Brigata Fabrizio Parrulli dei Carabinieri in una cerimonia alla New York Historical Society Library. La Statua e’ stata disposta per visione pubblica per la prima volta in 33 anni. La Statua sara’ restituita all’Italia, dove sara’ esposta al pubblico in un museo prestigioso Italiano.

Torlonia Peplophoros e’ fatta di un marmo Romano peplophoros che fu’ derubato l’11 novembre 1983, da Villa Torlonia, una residenza storica di proprieta’ del comune di Roma. La statua fu una di 15 statue derubate con altri articoli da Villa Torlonia.

La statua fu portata negli Stati Uniti, illegalmente, alla fine degli anni ’90, e fu’ venduta a Manhattan nel 2001 per circa $81, 000 dollari ad un privato, residente a New York. Quando il proprietario tentó di vendere la statua all’asta nel 2015 e si rese conto che era stata rubata, la statua fu consegnata volontariamente all’FBI. Una denuncia per la confisca civile fu depositata il 25 di febbraio 2016, dall’ufficio del Procuratore degli Stati Uniti del Distretto Sud di New York.

L’Agente in carico dell’ FBI, Michael McGarrity, ha dichiarato, “La cerimonia di oggi e’un esempio dell’impegno che l’FBI si occupa per ristabilire articoli d’arte e antiquariati di grande importanza ai loro legittimi proprietari; e’vogliamo ricordare i loro valori importanti nel preservare la storia nel mondo.”

Generale di Brigata Fabrizio Parrulli, ha dichiarato, “Negli anni le cooperazioni investigative tra i Carabinieri TPC, l’FBI ed il Dipartimento di Stato Americano hanno continuano a consolidare eminenti e straordinari risultati di recupero per importanti pezzi d’arte che sono state rimosse dall’Italia illigitimamente.”

Nessun addebito sara’ presentato contro l’ex propretario della statua di Villa Torlonia e l’FBI ha chiuso il suo caso a riguardo.

L’FBI desidera ringraziare la New York Historical Society per aver ospitato la cerimonia del rimpatrio della statua nella loro biblioteca.

Questo caso fu indagato dai membri della Major Theft Squad [Squadra di Furti Maggiori] che fà parte della Art Crime Team del’ FBI di New York. Sin dal suo inizio nel 2004, Art Crime Team ha recuperato piu’ di 14,850 articoli a livello nazionale, che, in totale pari a piu’ di $165 millioni di dollari.
L’FBI ricorda al pubblico di presentarsi se sono a conoscenza di qualche notizia riguardo ai furti d’arte o pure articoli di eredita’ o patrimonio culturale. Qualsiasi informazione si puo’ fornire all’FBI Art Crime Team al numero: 212.384.1000 o sul sito-web. Gli informatori possono rimanere anonimi. Coloro che desiderano acquistare articoli d’arte e culturali, sono pregati di visionare il sito web della National Stolen Art File dell'FBI prima di eseguire l’acquisto per evitare una decadenza civile per articoli rubati.