Thirteen important works of ancient art have been returned to Italy by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, a move to be seen as a very important step in the fight against the illicit trade in works of art found in the course of illegal excavations. Those returned by the Boston museum consist of a truly magnificent statue of the wife of the emperor Hadrian, Vibia Sabina, probably from the Villa Adriana in Tivoli and showing clear marks of damage caused by the digger used to remove it from the ground, fragments of a triangular marble support, also thought to come from Hadrians Villa, and a total of eleven vases, including Attic examples of the very highest quality in various shapes and dating from the sixth and fifth centuries BC found in Etruscan tombs, and Italiot ones of the fifth and fourth centuries BC from Puglia and Lucania.

The intention of the ministry of fine arts and culture is that these works will be eventually displayed in museums in the areas in which they were found. They are on show at the Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Massimo, in Rome up to 29 October 2006.