Pottery in similar style as the seized piece, not a photo of the actual piece.

 Files of a convicted art smuggler in Italy led American investigators to an Attic Red-Figure Nolan Amphora (old timey Greek vase with reddish figures on black background) that was in a New York gallery. Here’s the ICE release on the case.

ICE seizes artifact linked to Italian art smuggler

April 13, 2016

NEW YORK – Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations on Wednesday seized an ancient Attic Red-Figure Nolan Amphora by Charmides Painter (475- 460 B.C.). 

This seizure follows a joint international investigation led by HSI New York, and the Italian Cabanieri. The Italians traced the Nolan Amphora to a gallery in New York City. It is believed that the Nolan Amphora might have been in the United States illegally since as early as 1997. HSI agents tracked down and recovered the item within hours after Italian authorities provided details of the artifact.

According to the Italian Carabinieri Protection of Cultural Heritage Command, the piece matches photographs found in the files of convicted antiquities dealer Gianfranco Becchina. It is currently alleged that the antiquity is the property of Italy and is therefore forfeitable as stolen property that was unlawfully introduced into the United States.

Becchina, an Italian citizen, operated an antiquities gallery in Basel, Switzerland. In February 2011, he was convicted in an Italian court of illicitly dealing in antiquities. During the investigation that led to his conviction, Swiss and Italian authorities searched Becchina’s Swiss gallery and warehouse and seized Italian archeological artifacts, commercial documents and photographs of thousands of artifacts that Becchina had sold. Among the documents in Becchina’s archive were photographs, commercial records and customs paperwork pertaining to the Nolan Amphora by Charmides.