Looted artifacts being returned to Italy from NYC

NEW YORK — Two stolen ancient artifacts are being returned to Italy from New York City.

An Italian government representative is taking possession of them at a ceremony Wednesday. The artifacts are a Pompeii plaster wall painting and a Corinthian vase for mixing water and wine.

They were recovered by immigration and customs officials in June. Both items had been scheduled for auction in New York before they were discovered to have been stolen.

Immigration officials said the vase may have been illegally introduced into the art market by Giacomo Medici (JAH’-kuh-moh MEH’-dih-chee) in 1985. The art dealer was convicted in Rome in 2004 of conspiracy to traffic in antiquities.

The wall painting was reported stolen in Italy in 1997.

Original article-with photos

Google adds Pompeii to its Street View

Google has added Pompeii to its Street View application, allowing internet users to take a 360-degree virtual tour of the ancient Roman city.

Italy’s culture ministry says it hopes the move will boost tourism to the site, state news agency Ansa reports.

Among the ruins visible on the search engine’s free mapping service are the town’s statues, temples and theatres.

The city was buried in ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD79 and was not discovered until the 18th Century.

The volcanic debris preserved many of the city’s buildings, frescos, silverware, mosaics and other artefacts.

“Giving people a chance to take a virtual stroll through Pompeii will give an extraordinary boost to Italian tourism,” Ansa quoted Mario Resca of the culture ministry’s heritage promotion department as saying.

The Google Maps service, launched in 2007, provides panoramic street-level views of more than 100 cities around the world.

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