Hedge fund manager and philanthropist Michael Steinhardt surrendered antiquities worth roughly $70 million, and he has been banned for life from acquiring such artifacts in the future, the Manhattan district attorney announced Monday.
Steinhardt, who holds a substantial ancient art collection, surrendered the 180 antiquities after a multi-year, international investigation, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. announced in a press release. The stolen art was “illegally smuggled out of 11 countries” and “trafficked by 12 criminal smuggling networks,” the release said.
Steinhardt, who heads The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and co-founded Birthright Israel after building his wealth with Steinhardt Partners, will not face criminal charges after returning the stolen objects to their original owners. Steinhardt founded his hedge fund in 1967 and closed it in 1995, according to Fox Business.
“For decades, Michael Steinhardt displayed a rapacious appetite for plundered artifacts without concern for the legality of his actions, the legitimacy of the pieces he bought and sold, or the grievous cultural damage he wrought across the globe,” Vance said.
“His pursuit of ‘new’ additions to showcase and sell knew no geographic or moral boundaries, as reflected in the sprawling underworld of antiquities traffickers, crime bosses, money launderers, and tomb raiders he relied upon to expand his collection,” Vance added.
Steinhardt, in a prepared statement issued by his lawyers, said he was “pleased that the District Attorney’s yearslong investigation has concluded without any charges, and that items wrongfully taken by others will be returned to their native countries,” The New York Times reported.
The stolen items reportedly include a stag’s head dating back nearly 2,500 years and valued at $3.5 million and a chest from Crete meant for human remains which dates back more than 3,000 years valued at $1 million.
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