Smuggled painting heading back to Italy

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smuggled painting that fetched nearly $1.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction is being returned to Italy, the feds announced yesterday.
“Leda e il Cigno,” by Italian Renaissance artist Lelio Orsi, was ordered forfeited to the US government after more than two years of legal wrangling by the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office.
The 16th-century, oil-on-copper work was auctioned off in Manhattan in 2008, but the winning bidder canceled the deal after learning that Italian authorities were investigating its disappearance from that country.
Italian “patrimony” laws strictly prohibit the export of culturally significant artworks and artifacts without prior permission from the Ministry of Italian Culture.

Smuggled painting heading back to Italy –

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