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Princeton will return antiquities to Italy

Princeton University Art Museum said it will sign an agreement Tuesday to return eight of 15 disputed antiquities to the Italian government.

The agreement completes negotiations that began in April 2006 between the Ivy League university in Princeton, N.J., and Italy's Ministry of Culture in Rome.

The agreement will immediately transfer ownership of the eight objects to Italy, though four of them — including a painted Greek vase dating from 510-500 B.C. and a painted Apulian vase from southern Italy from 335-325 B.C. — will remain on loan to the Princeton museum for four years.

The agreement is the latest settlement between a university-affiliated museum and a national government over the ownership of disputed objects in the museum's collection. In September, Yale University in New Haven, Conn., agreed to return artifacts that Hiram Bingham, an archaeologist and Yale professor, excavated from Machu Picchu, Peru, almost a century ago.