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Works from ancient Greece and Italy were taken as part of the latest crackdown in New York amid accusations the objects have been looted.

Among the objects seized were proto-Corinthian figures from the 7th century BC and a Greek lekythos — or oil vessel — from the 5th century BC.

Vance formed the Antiquities Trafficking Unit at the end of last year and was behind the seizure of a Persian artefact from the stand of Rupert Wace at TEFAF New York in October.

The bureau has been formed to attempt to repatriate looted antiquities discovered in New York.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s announced the creation of the unit when it revealed the return of three ancient statues to the Lebanese Republic in December.

Vance said: “Since 2012, my office has recovered several thousand trafficked antiquities collectively valued at more than $150m… The newly formed Antiquities Trafficking Unit is committed to stopping the trade of stolen antiquities from historic sites around the world.”

According to the New York Times Steinhardt’s collection has come under scrutiny in the past after he bought items from collectors William and Lynda Beierwaltes. According to court papers, the Beierwaltes had bought one of these items from London dealer Robin Symes.

ATG has contacted a foundation owned by Steinhardt and is awaiting comment.