Italy Seeks Ancient Loot From Symes Trustees





Among the high profile clients of British antiquities dealer Robin Symes was Maurice Tempelsman -- one of the pillars of the Eastern Establishment (Council on Foreign Relations, Africa-America Institute, long-time beau of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and "friend" of former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright); Leon Levy & Shelby White and the Metropolitan Museum of Art were customers too. Symes bought his pieces primarily from now-convicted antiquities smuggler Giacomo Medici, the man who sold the Euphronios Sarpedon vases to Bob Hecht.

In a reversal of fortune beginning with the accidental death of Symes's long-time business partner and companion Christo Michaelides ten years ago at a dinner party in Italy hosted by Levy & White and then many months in prison in the UK -- Symes, once the prince of the ancient art trade, is now bankrupt. And Italy is asking for restitution of some 1,000 artifacts from Symes's Trustees in Bankruptcy, according to Maurizio Fiorilli, the lawyer for Italy's Ministry of Culture who negotiated the return of the Euphronios krater and other treasures from America's museums...


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