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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota art museum will return an ancient Greek vase to its rightful owners after an investigation determined it belongs to the people of Italy.

The artifact in question is a 5th Century B.C. Greek “volute krater.” That’s an ornate vessel used by ancient Greeks to mix water and wine.

It has been at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts since 1983. Museum officials became aware of its questionable origins several years ago, and notified U.S. and Italian law enforcement.

An archaeology professor in Rome determined it was the same vase shown in photographs that were seized by Italian authorities investigating the theft of art and antiquities.

The museum’s director says it shows a commitment to high ethical standards in developing and maintaining its collection.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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