Police were called in on 11 February to dislodge protesters from outside the civic museum in Mazara del Valle in Sicily, which houses the beautiful 3rd century BC bronze statue called the Dancing Satyr.

The demonstration seems to have started as a protest against the construction of a distillery in the area.

But many people are not happy that the statue is being taken as far as Japan for an exhibition. Several people were hurt in what appears to have been a heavy-handed police charge.

The statue, with its beautiful face and flowing movements, is thought to have been in a vessel that was shipwrecked in the 3rd or 2nd century BC between Greece and the Cape Bon peninsula in Tunisia. A leg of the figure surfaced in the nets of a fishing boat from Mazara del Vallo in 1997. The body was recovered the following year although the second arm and leg have never been found.

Extensive restoration work on the masterpiece took place at the Italian central restoration institute in Rome between 1998 and 2000. Although the satyr then went on display in the city this is its first journey outside Italy. It is travelling from Palermo to Naples by sea, then on to Rome by land and finally to Toyko by air.