Pompeii officials say striker's statue not from there

Lavezzi accused of smuggling archaeological find

Pompeii officials say striker's statue not from there

(updates previous) Naples, July 10 - Paris Saint-Germain star Ezequiel Lavezzi is under investigation for attempting to smuggle an historic statuette out of Italy on a private plane, police said Wednesday. However, it was not stolen from the UNESCO heritage site of Pompeii, the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Naples and Pompeii said, contradicting media reports. It is not possible to determine the origins of the discovery or just where the relic was found, the superintendent said in a statement. But staff there say they are not aware of any such a statuette being stolen from Pompeii. Customs officers making a routine check in May 2012 seized the find from Lavezzi's luggage as he was preparing to leave Naples airport. The Argentina striker, who played for Napoli for five years, told police the ancient Roman artifact was "a gift from an acquaintance", prosecutors said.

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