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Greece Ratifies Deal to Recoup 161 Ancient Treasures From US

(AP) -- Greece has ratified a complex deal for the return, over coming decades, of 161 striking ancient Greek artifacts from a U.S. billionaire's collection after Athens conceded it had no evidence they'd been illegally excavated and exported.

The mostly marble works date from 5300-2200 BC, and the bulk of them are from the Early Bronze Age Cycladic civilization whose elegantly abstract but enigmatic marble figurines inspired artists from Pablo Picasso to Constantin Brancusi. Such pieces are highly prized by collectors and museums, which has spawned a wave of illegal excavations in Greece — and countless forgeries.