di Francesco Musolino
Bari, October 22 - Italian authorities say they have recovered more than 300,000 euros worth of stolen archaeological artifacts, traced to Germany. The Cultural Heritage Protection Unit of the Italian carabinieri police worked with Interpol to track down the items, most which date from the third- and fourth-century BC. They include a vase for mixing wine, figures, coins and metal objects. Besides recovering the objects, police say they identified a criminal gang that has been stealing from archaeological areas in southern Italy, including the regions of Puglia and Basilicata. The gang had been trafficking stolen artifacts all over Europe. Police also recovered a fourth-century BC vase said to be of exceptional artistic, historic and archaeological interest, which was stolen in 1998 in the province of Foggia. The piece had found its way into a German museum, which has now returned it to Italian authorities.