The FBI has returned a 2,000-year-old Italian mosaic that may have been lost for almost a century

Sep 04, 2022 406

BY: Alaa Elassar

Hidden for decades, a mosaic that is a "key part of Rome's history" was located and returned to the Italian government, the Federal Bureau of Investigations said in a news release on Friday. In 2020, an attorney contacted the FBI Art Crime Team on behalf of an anonymous client who was in possession of an enormous "mosaic of the mythological figure Medusa," the FBI said.

The mosaic had been cut into 16 pieces, each weighing between 75 to 200 pounds, and had been individually stored in pallets kept inside a Los Angeles storage unit since the 1980s, according to the FBI. "The client had no documentation -- known in the art world as provenance -- so they could not sell the pieces," the FBI wrote. "Selling art without provenance is the equivalent of trying to sell a car when you don't have its title."

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