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Italy and New York's Met Museum End Dispute Over Looted Art

Italy's Culture Ministry and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art have signed a deal ending a dispute over ancient artifacts.

The Metropolitan Museum has agreed to return antiquities that Italy says were looted from its soil.

In exchange, Italy will loan to the museum works of equivalent beauty and importance.

The returned pieces include a third century B.C. Morgantina Hellenistic silver collection, smuggled out of Sicily, and a sixth century B.C. Euphronios Krater vase portraying a hero of the Trojan War.

The Metropolitan Museum says it acquired them in good faith. Its director says the agreement redresses past improprieties in the acquisitions process.

In 1939, Italy adopted legislation declaring artifacts found in archeological sites property of the state.

The agreement comes as the trial of a former curator of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles accused of acquiring stolen artifacts continues in Rome.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.