ROME (Kyodo) The Italian cultural ministry has seized an ancient Roman marble relief that was recently discovered by a farmer and set to be illegally sold to a Japanese art collector for ¥66 million, an Italian newspaper reported Tuesday.
The name of the Japanese collector was not identified by the ministry.
According to the report of Corriere Della Sera, the 1.5-ton relief, from around the second century, depicts a bull and Mithra, an ancient god of light and truth.
The farmer reportedly unearthed the relief in a suburb of Rome and hid it in a haystack for several months while looking for a buyer.
According to Italian law, ancient artifacts belong to the government, regardless of the discoverer.
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