FBI Returns Roman Statue of Peplophoros Stolen in Villa Torlonia, Rome

Statua di Peplophoros

FBI New York Hosts Italian Carabinieri in Formal Ceremony to Return Roman Statue of Peplophoros

December 7, 2016

image of a statue
Statue of Peplophoros

FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McGarrity of the New York Field Office and Joon H. Kim, Deputy U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, formally presented the Torlonia Peplophoros statue to Generale di Brigata Fabrizio Parrulli of Italy’s Carabinieri in a ceremony today at the New York Historical Society Library. The statue was briefly available for public viewing for the first time in 33 years. The statue will soon return to Italy, where it will be displayed again for the public to view at one of Italy’s prominent art museums.

Torlonia Peplophoros is a Roman marble peplophoros statue that was stolen on November 11, 1983, from Villa Torlonia, a historic residence owned by the Municipality of Rome, Italy. The statue was one of 15 statues stolen along with other items from Villa Torlonia.

The statue was brought into the United States unlawfully in the late 1990s and was sold in Manhattan in 2001 for approximately $81,000 to a private owner residing in New York City. When the owner discovered it was stolen while attempting to sell it at an auction in 2015, the statue was voluntarily turned it over to the FBI. A civil forfeiture complaint was filed on February 25, 2016, by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. There will be no charges filed against the former owner of the statue, and the FBI has closed its case.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael McGarrity said, “Today’s ceremony is just one example of the FBI’s commitment to restore significant arts and antiquities to their rightful owners, and we remind everyone of the significant role they serve in preserving the history of the world.”

Generale di Brigata Fabrizio Parrulli said, “Over the years the investigative cooperation between Carabinieri TPC, FBI, and US Department of Justice has continued to consolidate leading to extraordinary results in recovering important works of art illicitly removed from Italy.”