Provenance of Italian Antiquities Disputed

Italian authorities say they have documents that prove that antiquities in possession of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art may have been looted.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Cultural officials in Italy say some of their cultural heritage has been looted and they want it back. Right now some disputed treasures are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and Italians are trying to find a way to get back a 5th century vase. The Italians say this vase was taken from an Etruscan tomb north of Rome. New York museum officials have said they want to resist returning artifacts that are on public display, so the Italians are proposing a swap. Italian officials say they will replace the vase with artwork of similar value in a long-term loan. This is a new strategy that Italy may use in talks with other US museums that they say have illegal antiquities in their collections.

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