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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 August 2007, 01:59 GMT 02:59 UK
Getty to return Italian treasures
Disputed statue of Aphrodite
The Getty Museum bought the statue of Aphrodite two decades ago
The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has agreed to return priceless artefacts allegedly stolen from Italy.

Under a compromise deal, 40 antiquities will be returned, less than the 46 Italy demanded but more than the 26 offered by the museum last year.

The items include a prized limestone and marble statue of the goddess Aphrodite, to be handed over in 2010.

Rome had threatened to sever ties with Getty over the treasures, which the Italians say were looted.

Dispute continues

The Italian culture ministry said in a statement: "Both parties say they are satisfied that, after long and complicated negotiations, an agreement has been reached and now they move ahead with a relationship of renewed cooperation."

The ancient 7ft (2.2m) statue of Aphrodite was bought by Getty for $18mn (8.9m) two decades ago.

Italian authorities say the 5th Century BC treasure was smuggled from an ancient Greek settlement in Sicily.

But the two sides continue to dispute the 2,500-year-old bronze Statue of a Victorious Youth, which was fished out of international waters more than 40 years ago.

Earlier this year Getty, the richest art institution in the US with an endowment of $5bn (2.46bn), agreed to return four artefacts to Greece.

Getty may return Greek artefacts
16 May 06 |  Entertainment
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03 Oct 05 |  Entertainment
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