Greece amongst countries to receive antiquities from Steinhardt’s surrendered collection
“Items wrongfully taken will be returned to their native countries”
The hedge fund manager’s attorneys, Andrew Levander and Theodore Wells, said in a joint statement said their client was pleased that the investigation has ended, adding that “items wrongfully taken by others will be returned to their native countries.”
The lawyers also declared that Steinhardt may seek compensation from dealers who allegedly misled him regarding the provenance of the artifacts.
Steinhardt ran the hedge fund Steinhardt Partners, building his net worth to $1.2 billion, according to a report from Forbes.
Vance, who said the antiquities will be returned to their lawful owners in Greece, Bulgaria, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Syria and Turkey, added that authorities in these nations assisted him in the years-long investigation.
The statement of facts regarding the case is an incredible 142 pages long. A total of 138 of the antiquities originated in Greece, Israel or Italy; Steinhardt is noted to have admitted at one time to prosecutors that most of the items he bought from one dealer “did not have provenance.”
One of the most striking artifacts was a fourth-century B.C. stag’s head, which is valued at $3.5 million; Steinhardt loaned the sculpture to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1993.
At this point, it is not known exactly where the stag’s head originated from, other than it had been “Found in Western Turkey,” according to an undated handwritten note that Steinhardt had in his possession, according to Reuters.
The statement of facts indicated that “Information from a seller identifying the find spot of an unprovenanced antiquity is often an indication that it has been looted.”
In January of 2018, investigators raided Steinhardt’s New York City apartment, seizing a large amount of antiquities which had allegedly been stolen and illegally purchased by Steinhardt.
Vance, the son of the well-known American politician Cyrus Vance, who was Secretary of State in the Jimmy Carter administration, created an antiquities trafficking bureau in December of 2017 in an effort to get to the bottom of the unethical trafficking in historic artifacts.
He plans to retire from the bureau after his 12-year-long tenure at the end of 2021.
Steinhardt’s philanthropic legacy includes The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University, which bears his name in recognition of two $10 million donations to the institution.
In the 1990s, Steinhardt bought Steeple Jason Island and Grand Jason Island in the Falkland Islands archipelago and donated them to the Wildlife Conservation Society, along with $425,000 for a research station to be named after himself and his wife. Steinhardt also invested in baseball teams, owning part of the Miami Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers.