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CRIME

Top ten: Travel warnings for Italy

Many of us tend to leave our brains at home when heading abroad on holiday, and with that in mind governments issue travel warnings. From volcanoes to thieves distracting tourists with pizza, here are some of the most striking — and bizarre — warnings about Italy.

Top ten: Travel warnings for Italy
Tourists in Italy: Shutterstock

Italy is by most accounts a pretty safe place to travel, but that doesn't mean tourists don't sometimes land themselves in trouble.

So what advice do foreign governments give their nationals about staying safe?

The Local has rounded up ten travel warnings about Italy issued by the foreign offices of countries around the world.

They might make you laugh, shake your head in disbelief or encourage you to be a lot more careful the next time you visit.

Click here to see the gallery of travel warnings about Italy

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CRIME

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”

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Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”

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