Stolen & Looted: Getty Curator on Bail and Italians to Ask Japan for Return of Antiquities

Marion True, already on trial in Italy for dealing in looted artifacts, posted bail of $19,000 US this past Wednesday. In December, the Getty returned a gold wreath and marble statue to Greece, just months after returning other artifacts including a tombstone and a marble relief (see my earlier post). And Italy is expected to request the return of antiquities from Japan, where 50 items smuggled out of Italy are alleged to reside in the Miho Museum.

Read more of these two developments below the fold.


Marion Being True?
Marion True, of course, maintains her innocence. She’s critical of the Getty for returning the artifacts without making any attempt to explain the circumstances of their procurement. True is apparently insistent that the Getty was “fully aware of the risks” involved and that she initially tried to dissuade them from procuring the items but later, according to Greek prosecutors, advised the Getty’s board to obtain them. Greek officials, however, aren’t as interested in True as they are a Serbian middleman and Swiss-based antiquities dealer Christoph Leon.

Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Curato!
The Miho Museum, a private museum in Shiga, western Japan, may have a fresco and sculpture from ancient Rome that is in dispute and, according to a museum official, there are less than 50 artifacts from the Roman period. The Associated Press picked up this news form a Japanese news report in Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest daily newspaper, that indicated the Italian government plans to put together a catalog of 100 antiquities that have been smuggled or otherwise illicitly removed from the country. The report also indicated that the Italian government planned to “ask the Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency to cooperate in recovering them.”

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