January 12, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012 - No comments

Italian Journal Reports Etruscan Artifacts Returned to Italy for Permanent Display

Etruscan jewelry to be returned to Italy
Etruscan Jewelry will be added to Museo archeologico "G.Allevi". collection in Offida

Reported by Claudia Palmira,
Editor-in-Chief, Italian Journal

This blog's customary content has to do with crime, theft and fraud, but this is a case with a happy ending that took place recently at the Consulate of Italy in New York.

Some years ago, artist Edward Giobbi, also a cook book author and resident of Westchester County, New York, came upon what appeared to be jewelry and other artifacts that were brought to America from the region of Le Marche, the town of Offida in particular, by his father in the 1950s when he travelled to the US to take up residence. Giobbi kept the priceless artifacts, preserved in a box in his sculpture studio in the converted barn where he works and stores his paintings and sculpture, in Katonah.

Giobbi sustained a friendship for 35 plus years with Steve Acunto, a classical scholar and publisher, who was appointed Hon. Vice Consul for Italy in New York State in 2003. On one of their many dinners together, the artist alluded to the artifacts and artwork and expressed his interest in having them returned to their rightful location to be displayed and prized in the very point where they were excavated. Acunto went right to work and pulled together his contacts in the Italian Government and was able, with the help of Vice Consul Lucia Pasqualini to set the way for a return of these artifacts to their home on December 27th 2011.

The result will be a permanent display at the museum in Offida.

During the ceremony held at the Italian Consulate on Park Avenue, the consignment was formalized by Mr. Giobbi together with family members, the Consul General of Italy in New York, Natalia Quintavalle, Vice Consul, Lucia Pasqualini, Hon. Vice Consul Stefano Acunto and members of the Carabinieri and the Ministry of Beni Culturale.

This was called a great act of generosity and an example for the community, according to Consul General Quintavalle who noted the priceless value of the ancient artifacts.

Mr. Acunto, who facilitated the arrangement, thanked Vice Consul Pasqualini for her assistance in the matter and stated: “Mr. Giobbi is a renowned artist who respects our shared heritage so greatly that he returned these artifacts brought here by his relatives some years ago to its rightful historic home as part of Italy’s archaeological patrimony and legacy. The artifacts are priceless in value and priceless inasmuch as they reflect an important part of the local heritage in the Marches where they were originally discovered. It is rare that excavations today turn up such a treasure trove of fine art including these Etruscan era necklaces, pins and clasps in extraordinarily good condition, from approximately 2,800 years ago. It is a great joy for us all to see these returned in such an honorable manner.”