An Egyptian granite sculpture of a sphinx that risked ending up on the antiquities black market, is now destined to be shown in a museum in Rome.
The Italian police recovered it from people suspected to be involved in illicit trafficking in antiquities last week.
Italian Tax Police Maj. Massimo Rossi said the sculpture- that is roughly two feet tall and four feet long - was perhaps as old as the 4th century BC, was found on the outskirts of Rome, Fox News reported.
It was in a box hidden in a greenhouse near an ancient Etruscan necropolis.
Rossi said on Thursday that the sphinx likely adorned a 1st century BC Roman villa, in keeping with the fashion then for Egyptian sculpture as decoration.
He said that an Italian and a Romanian are being investigated in the probe of suspected illicit trafficking in antiquities.
Villa Giulia museum, which specializes in Etruscan antiquities, will be hosting the sphinx. (ANI)