Friday, October 26, 2007

Princeton to return antiquities to Italy

Antiquities seem to be making the news today: incantation bowls at UCL, and the removal of a piece of Lydian silver from the auction at Bonham's. And now it has been announced on AP that "Princeton to Return Some Art to Italy". (For an earlier discussion see "Will Princeton Follow Yale?)

Today's report indicates that an agreement will be signed by Princeton on October 30. It states:
Among objects covered by the Princeton deal is a "psykter" — a Greek vase decorated with red figures that was used for cooling wine. ... The psykter's title will be transferred to Italy, but it will be one of the four pieces that will remain on loan in Princeton for four years. Prosecutors say the piece was looted from the Etruscan site of Cerveteri, north of Rome, by tomb raiders and sold to Princeton by American art dealer Robert Hecht for $350,000 in 1989.

Susan Taylor, director of Princeton's art museum, is quoted:

This agreement reflects and supports the research and educational mission of the university art museum, enabling us to retain a number of objects, repatriate others that belong to Italy, and have unprecedented access, on a long-term loan basis, to additional material.

Princeton's press release gives the details:

Four objects to be transferred in title but to remain on loan to the Princeton University Art Museum from the Ministry of Cultural Properties and Activities of the Republic of Italy.

1. Red figure loutrophoros (ceramic), attributed to the Darius Painter, depicting the mourning of Niobe and woman and youths at a foundation house. South Italian, Apulian, ca. 335-325 B.C.

2. Head of a winged lion (brown volcanic stone). Etruscan, ca. 550-525 B.C.

3. Red figure psykter depicting Symposion, or drinking party (ceramic), attributed to the Kleophrades Painter. Greek, Attic, ca. 510 500 B.C.

4. Red figure volute krater, attributed to the Iliupersis Painter (ceramic), depicting the return of Perseus to Seriphos and Dionysos, maenads and satyrs. South Italian, Apulian, ca. 370 360 B.C.

Four objects to be transferred from the Princeton University Art Museum to the Ministry of Cultural Properties and Activities of the Republic of Italy.

5. Columen plaque with a Centaur in Relief (Terracotta, painted). Etruscan, southern Etruria or Latium, ca. 500-480 B.C.

6. Oinochoe with a serpent around the body (ceramic). Etruscan, ca. 675 B.C.

7. Black figure skyphos fragment with a sprinting youth (ceramic). Etruscan, ca. 510 500 B.C.

8. Round mouthed oinochoe, attributed to the Ivy Leaf Group: naked male runners holding large ivy leaves (ceramic). Carian, East Greek style, ca. 540-530 B.C.

Seven objects to remain permanently at the Princeton University Art Museum.

9. Red figure kylix attributed to the Brygos Painter, depicting on its inside Hermes and one of the cattle of Apollo, and on the outside infant Hermes and the cattle of Apollo (ceramic). Greek, Attic, ca. 490 480 B.C.

10. Inlaid dagger and sheath (bronze, iron, silver, gold, niello). Roman, ca. first-second centuries A.D.

11. Plate with the Ransom of Hector (ceramic). Greek, Corinthian, ca. 580 570 B.C.

12. Fragment from a red figure lekythos depicting flying Nike (ceramic). Greek, Attic, ca. 480 470 B.C.

13. Pair of charging Amazons (painted terracotta). Greek, South Italy, Canosa, ca. 300 280 B.C.

14. Vessel (guttus) in the form of a drunken Silenus (ceramic). Greek, South Italy, Apulian, fourth century B.C.

15. Teano ware vessel in the form of a bird (ceramic). South Italy, Campanian, ca. 325 300 B.C.

The return is in line with the previous material returning from New York, Boston and Malibu. Which North American museum will be next? Or will the spotlight turn to Europe?


1 comment:

David Gill said...

See now Ariel David, "Italy, Princeton museum reach deal to return disputed antiquities" at http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--italy-lootedantiq1026oct26,0,753245.story

This suggests further museums.

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