Lost Caligula mosaic returned to Italy
Amosaic used as flooring from one of Caligula’s lavish pleasure barges has been returned to Italy from the USA. Bought in good faith by a Manhattan art dealer in the 1960s, they were unaware of its provenance and used it as a coffee table.
Caligua liked to sail his barges on lakes near Rome, and this mosaic was recovered from Lake Nemi, in the Alban Hills outside the capital by Mussolini. However, it disappeared during fighting between the Allies and the retreating Germans.
Detectives from a unit of Italy’s Carabinieri police force, which specialises in recovering stolen artefacts, tracked the mosaic down to New York with the help of US authorities. The priceless item will be returned to the Museum of Roman Ships on the banks of Lake Nemi.
The returned mosaic from the bridge of Caligula’s pleasure boat