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11/04/2013
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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Returning a nation's looted cultural heritage or stolen artwork protects the world's cultural heritage and knowledge of past civilizations. The Smithsonian Institution's Museum Conservation Institute provides HSI special agents with on-site training on how to handle, store, photograph and authenticate cultural property and works of art.
12/04/2012
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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Today, special agents with ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), seized a 14th century A.D. bronze Parvati statue and four bronze Tamil Nadu figures, estimated as a group to be worth more than $5 million.
04/03/2013
Salt Lake City, UT
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
A federal grand jury indicted four defendants Wednesday on charges of smuggling Peruvian artifacts and interstate transportation of stolen property following an undercover probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
01/22/2015
Rome, Italy
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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Over 5,000 looted artifacts valued at more than $50 million Euros were illicitly traded by Gianfranco Becchina, an Italian national and one of Italy’s most prolific traffickers of illicit cultural property. HSI became involved in one of the Becchina investigations after receiving a lead from Carabinieri TPC regarding looted objects being offered for sale by a New York auction house.
03/11/2016
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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This seizure contained a 2nd Century Bodhisattva schist head from the Gandhara region (likely from what is now known today as Swat Valley, Pakistan,) and is estimated to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
03/24/2010
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
Bildnis in der Laube (Portrait in the Garden), a 1930 painting by Swiss artist Paul Klee, was reported stolen to the Art Loss Registry in 1989 and reported by an art gallery in Canada.
10/04/2019
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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ICE's HSI International Operations Division Chief Leo Lin returned a sixth century marble statue known as the “Head of a Veiled Woman,” during a repatriation ceremony at the Libyan Embassy, Thursday.

06/02/2010
Miami, FL
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
Agents initiated an investigation after the pre-Columbian artifacts were seen on eBay.
04/09/2020
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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The first item is an 11th Century sandstone Khmer statue torso of the Khleang style wearing a Khmer sampot, a traditional garment of Cambodia. The second item, dated between the early 10th to late 10th century, is a large gray sandstone Khmer statue torso of an unidentified deity.

04/18/2012
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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An antiquities dealer, Mousa Khouli, pleaded guilty Wednesday to smuggling Egyptian cultural property into the United States and making a false statement to law enforcement authorities.
06/12/2013
Wilmington, DE
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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Federal officials and representatives from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington announced the seizure of a long-lost diary kept by a close confidant of Adolph Hitler.
04/01/2015
Honolulu, HI
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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Representatives from the Honolulu Museum of Art Wednesday transferred seven rare antiquities to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) after an ongoing international smuggling probe by HSI determined the objects had likely been looted from India and brought to the U.S. illegally.
12/01/2016
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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On Sept. 8, 2009, HSI New York recovered a nesting sarcophagus from a garage in Brooklyn, New York. One year later, on Sept. 24, 2010, following leads from the Brooklyn case, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Newark seized a shipment of smuggled Egyptian goods, including a funerary boat model and figurines. 

08/17/2011
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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On Thursday, ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) returned, during a joint repatriation ceremony, a collection of 67 artifacts illegally imported into the United States from the Dominican Republic. The objects were discovered as part of several investigations by ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and CBP.
09/02/2013
Seoul, South Korea
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned a Hojo currency plate, looted from the Deoksu Palace in Seoul during the Korean War, to the government of South Korea during a repatriation ceremony.
02/09/2017
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations

According to evidence presented at trial and court records, Ijaz Khan, 42, of Sante Fe, New Mexico, was part of a conspiracy that smuggled ancient artifacts into the U.S., including pottery and bronze weapons stolen from burial sites and coins from a cave temple in Pakistan called the Kashmir Smast.

07/06/2011
Louisville, KY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
In a ceremony on Tuesday, the local Speed Art Museum transferred a three-panel wooden triptych to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), following last month's settlement agreement.
01/26/2014
Tampa, FL
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa, A. Lee Bentley III, acting U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida, and Adolfo Barattolo, the consul general for the Italian Consulate in Miami, participated in the repatriation ceremony.
07/24/2015
Cleveland, OH
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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The ancient coins were originally detained in March 2014 during a routine inspection at the Port of Cincinnati cargo facility by CBP officers before the investigation was turned over to HSI. The intended recipient told investigators the coins were of Middle Eastern origin based on information received from an overseas seller.
02/06/2008
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
Salvatore Dalessandro, Special Agent-In-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Michael J. Garcia, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today the arrest of Edward George Johnson, an active U.S. Army helicopter pilot, on charges relating to his sale of stolen Egyptian antiquities.
07/05/2017
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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The government also filed a stipulation of settlement with Hobby Lobby, in which Hobby Lobby consented to the forfeiture of the artifacts in the complaint, approximately 144 cylinder seals and an additional sum of $3 million, resolving the civil action. Hobby Lobby further agreed to adopt internal policies and procedures governing its importation and purchase of cultural property, provide appropriate training to its personnel, hire qualified outside customs counsel and customs brokers, and submit quarterly reports to the government on any cultural property acquisitions for the next eighteen months.

03/11/2011
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
7 Sui Dynasty Pottery Horses with Riders, A.D. 581-618, Among Artifacts Returned to China.
07/11/2012
Washington, DC
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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ICE returned 14 stolen and looted cultural paintings and artifacts to the government of Peru at a repatriation ceremony in Washington, D.C. The items were recovered in five separate investigations by special agents of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York; West Virginia; Wilmington, Delaware; and Austin and Houston, Texas.
05/06/2014
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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At a May 7 ceremony in New York, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York were commemorated by the Kingdom of Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Sok An and other representative from the Cambodian government for the return of the Duryodhana, a 10th century sandstone sculpture. Cambodian and U.S. officials were joined at the ceremony was by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and L'École Française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO).
08/03/2014
New York, NY
Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations
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On Jan. 3, 2012, HSI New York and HSI Attaché Rome arrested Arnold Peter Weiss, 54, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. At the time of his arrest, Weiss, a Rhode Island resident, believed himself to be in possession of two stolen dekadrachma from Agrigento, Sicily. Under Italian law, the removal of any artifacts discovered in the region after 1909 is prohibited by the country's cultural heritage and protection laws. Weiss, however, believed the stolen coins to be worth millions of dollars, and planned to trade them at a New York auction.

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