After being looted and sold to the Metropolitan Museum, the stunning collection of 3rd century BC silver pieces known as the silver hoard of Morgantina are back in Sicily, and the exquisitely crafted bowls and drinking vessels are beautifully displayed in the tiny archaeological museum of Aidone. In the same museum you’ll find the Goddess of Morgantina, a Greek statue that also has a murky past, returning to Sicily after being looted and sold to the Getty Museum.
The story of the looting, sale and investigation of the Morgantina silver reads like a mystery novel, with an amusing final twist. A 1978 Italian lira coin was found in a hole that a confessed tombarolo – tomb robber – indicated as a place where he had participated in illegal excavations, and proved to be the most damning piece of evidence that the pieces were indeed stolen (and eventually sold to the Met by American dealer in antiquities Robert Hecht Jr., who has been charged with conspiring to deal in stolen artifacts.)
You can visit the scene of the crime at the nearby archaeological site of the ancient city of Morgantina – on a recent clear day made even more spectacular by the Mt. Etna volcano puffing in the background. If you are plotting to lug away any treasures, keep your change secured in your pocket!