Italy returns 2,000 year-old statue to Libya

January 21, 2012 - 5:15 PM
APTOPIX Mideast Libya Italy

An artifact returned by Italy to Libya, known as the Head Domitilla, which was stolen from Sabratha, Libya in 1990, is seen on display during Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti's visit to Tripoli, Libya, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Abdel Magid al-Fergany)

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Italy has returned to Libya the head of a 2,000 year-old statue that was smuggled out of the country in the 1960s.

Prime Minister Mario Monti gave the sculpted head of Domitilla Minor, the daughter of Roman emperor Vespasian, to Libyan authorities during his trip to Tripoli on Saturday.

The sculpture was taken from Libya's northwestern city of Sabratha in the 1960s, and recently auctioned at Christie's.

Monti was making his first visit to Libya since the capture and killing of longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi in October.