A tremendous find by Italian art investigators who recovered these invaluable pieces of ancient art history from a theft that occured three centuries ago!
Horns play while a downed gladiator raises his finger in a plea for mercy in this marble relief found buried in a private garden north of Rome.
Jan. 31, 2007 — Bare-chested gladiators, immortalized with their swords and shields on marble panels, have been recovered from the garden of a private home 25 miles north of Rome, following a three-year police investigation.
Carved from high quality Carrara marble, the pieces are more than 2,000 years old and are thought to have been looted from a nearby tomb dating back to the early 18th century.
"We found the marble reliefs carefully placed one next to the other a half a meter below ground," general Pietro Ciani of the special art squad police, said at a presentation of the marbles at Rome's Villa Giulia museum.
According to the investigators, the 3-foot-long, foot-thick marble pieces were ready to be taken to Switzerland and then sold to collectors...