Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Getty Museum to Return Antiquities to Italy

Aphrodite
Currently at the Getty Museum, Malibu

The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has crafted a deal with the Italian government to return 40 disputed antiquities to Italy.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting "that most of the artifacts will be returned within the next few months."

"The agreement includes one of the most prized works in dispute, a 5th century B.C. statue of the goddess Aphrodite, which will remain on display at the Getty until 2010, the ministry said. Italian authorities believe the 7-foot statue, bought by the Getty for $18 million in 1988, was looted from an ancient Greek settlement in Sicily."

No agreement has been reached on the ancient Greek bronze - "Statue of a Victorious Athlete" - found off the coast of Italy in what the Getty Museum describes as international waters. The Italian government disputes these claims.

The deep waters holding lost treasures of antiquity have been described as "the Blue Museum" by the writer Phil Cousineau in his most recent collection of poems. The odyssey of these ancient works of art continues. It is almost as if the statues themselves reach out of the briny depths or their earthen graves in an effort to find their way home. It is a positive step in an age of American arrogance for the Getty Museum to help these works of art make their way back to their homelands.

"Statue of a Victorious Athlete"
Getty Museum

More at: Getty Museum in the Los Angeles Times
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