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A Greek Proto-Corinthian sculpture of an owl that was among the antiquities seized by the newly-formed Antiquities Trafficking Unit in New York.

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

A recent seizure by Vance’s team this month was the collection of hedge-fund manager Michael H Steinhardt. A group of Greek Proto-Corinthian figures were taken, including the owl shown above.