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Albania’s campaign to retrieve stolen artifacts

Albanian archeologists are struggling to recover valuable stolen artifacts from the shady world of crooked antique dealers and auction houses.

Just like the minister, Butrint National Park cofounder Auron Tare still heaves with emotion as he recalls the day in 1998, when, scavenging in a pile of old folders in the Ministry of Culture, he came across a series of letters from a U.S. professor of archeology, Elisabeth Bartman.

The documents, which were forwarded to the ministry by the Albanian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and had been collecting dust for years, reported that Bartman had come across a listing by a New York art dealer for the sale of an antique head of the Roman Empress Livia, which she believed had been discovered by Ugolini.

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