The head of a statue representing a water deity, stolen last December from Villa Celimontana's Fontana del Fiume has been found in Civitavecchia.

Investigators believe that the statue's head was stolen by professionals on order of a third party. It is likely that it was destined to be shipped and sold overseas but the thieves abandoned their treasure when they realised that the police were on their tracks.

The city's culture department has announced that the statue will undergo restoration and that the head will be reattached to the body by March next year

The bearded head is about 60 centimetres in height and extremely heavy. It was commissioned in the 16th century by Ciriaco Mattei (creator of the villa sul Celio) and believed to be sculpted by Pompeo Ferrucci.