A stolen ancient sculpture of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty, has been returned to Italy years after it turned up at an auction in Germany.
The first century A.D. statue, depicting Aphrodite was taken from the University of Foggia, southern Italy, in 2011.
Two years later, it was identified in Munich, the capital of Bavaria, where it had been offered for sale, the art squad of the Carabinieri police said in a statement Wednesday.
Later investigations revealed that it had been bought by a German art smuggler who trafficked in ancient artifacts stolen or excavated illegally in Italy.
The Carabinieri arrested the smuggler in 2016, along with two Italian accomplices, and seized more than 2,500 of their illicitly obtained artifacts.
The Aphrodite statue was the last item from the booty that had yet to be recovered.