Police save ancient Egyptian sculpture in Italy
ROME (AP) - An Egyptian granite sculpture of a sphinx that risked ending up on the black market for antiquities is destined instead for a Rome museum.
Italian Tax Police Major Massimo Rossi says the sphinx, perhaps as old as the 4th century B.C., was found on the outskirts of Rome last week. It was in a box hidden in a greenhouse near an ancient Etruscan necropolis.
Maj Rossi said on Thursday that the sphinx, which is roughly 61cm tall and 1.22m long, likely adorned a 1st century B.C. Roman villa, in keeping with the fashion then for Egyptian sculpture as decoration.
He said an Italian and a Romanian are being investigated in the probe of suspected illicit trafficking in antiquities. Villa Giulia museum, which specialises in Etruscan antiquities, will host the sphinx.