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This bronze Etruscan statuette has been repatriated to Italy after it went missing from the Archaeological Museum in Siena more than 30 years ago.

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It was stolen from the Archaeological Museum in Siena along with a number of other items in 1988.

In May it appeared for a sale at a UK auction house and was matched to the lost object during a routine catalogue search by the ALR. It had been added to the company’s database and that of Interpol and the Carabinieri shortly after its disappearance.

ALR contacted police in Italy and the UK and the consignor renounced his title after being informed of the provenance.

It was returned to Italy in a ceremony at the British Embassy in Rome last week.

The British School at Rome Tweeted about the ceremony: “Presentation of two Etruscan artefacts at the British Embassy by @JillMorrisFCO and @MarkLancasterMK to the @_Carabinieri_ one of which was stolen over 30 years ago from Siena. Both objects were recovered by the London Met Police.”

ALR’s James Ratcliffe said that the object had been offered by the auction house “unwittingly” and added: “The provenance provided to them stated that it had been consigned ‘from an important London W1 collection, previously acquired before 1970’. The fact that it had been stolen in Siena in 1988 demonstrates the need for careful checks of the provenance provided on consignment.”