Terra-cotta bell-krater (mixing bowl). Attributed to Python. Late Classical, ca. 360–350 B.C. Greek, South Italian, Paestan. Terra-cotta; red-figure. Diameter 14 1/2 in. (36.8cm). Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

NEW YORK - Last week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art gave up a large painted terracotta vase that had been illegally excavated from an ancient burial ground in Italy to the district attorney. The ancient Greek vessel, a krater, shows Dionysus, god of the grape harvest, riding in a cart.

In a second bombshell, another object has been sent over to the DA this week.

A museum curator discovered that a 2,300-year-old marble sculpture on loan was possibly looted from Lebanon in the 1880s. "Upon a Met curator's discovery that this item on loan may have been stolen from government storage during the Lebanese civil war, the Museum took immediate action. We contacted the Lebanese government and the lender, we took the item off display, and we have been working with federal and state authorities, which recently involved delivering the Head of the Bull to the Manhattan DA upon its request," said the museum's spokesperson, Kenneth Waith, in a statement.

The sculpture's owners are suing for its return.


Marble Head of a Bull, ca. 500–460 B.C. Greek. H. 13 in. (33 cm). Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.