Venerdì, 21 Settembre 2018
ROME

Police recover ancient Egyptian sphinx about to be exported

English
© ANSA

Rome, December 6 - Italian police on Thursday
recovered an antique Egyptian sphinx sculpture that was about to
be exported out of Italy.
The sphinx, recovered near an Etruscan necropolis, measures
120 x 60 cm and is made of African granite.
Police found the object already wrapped and packed in a box
and hidden in a greenhouse.
According to investigators, the sphinx was probably part of
the decorations of an Etruscan nobleman's tomb or country villa.
Chance played a part in the find. Police uncovered the
sphinx after a stopping a truck for a check and found it was
carrying antique ceramics from an archaeological site along with
a series of pictures which depicted the sphinx.
After searching the driver's house, other elements related
to the sphinx were found, all taken illegally from
archaeological sites.
Aside from its possible economic value, the presence of the
sphinx is, according to experts, an indicator of the thriving
trade that took place among Mediterranean countries.
Italy began importing objects from Egypt around the 1st
century BC, when Rome conquered the North African country.
Trade grew during the imperial years, in particular between
the end of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd century
AD.

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