Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is the "Bulldog" on the Minneapolis case?

In an in-depth interview in the UK's Sunday Telegraph, Maurizio Fiorilli, the Italian state prosecutor, spoke about future action ("Maurizio Fiorilli: scourge of the tomb raiders", Sunday Telegraph August 10, 2008) [previous discussion].

Alastair Smart wrote:
Britain also has far less of a tradition of voracious collectors such as the Fleischmans passing on their purchases to its museums. All of which explains why Fiorilli's major battles so far have been transatlantic. And although he stresses that his investigations 'are now turning to Europe and Japan', he's far from finished in America, where the Cleveland Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts and a host of private collectors are on his hit-list ...
At last week's CPAC review of the Article II of the MOU with Italy one of the speakers was Kaywin Feldman of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I wonder if she has resolved the issue of the Symes krater.

Here is an earlier comment from me:
In its collection is an Attic red-figured volute-krater attributed to the Methyse painter. It was purchased in 1983 from Robin Symes. It has been reported, "A Greek vase owned by the Minneapolis museum appears to match a photo of a vase that Italians say was looted" ("Italy claims Minneapolis museum holds looted vase", Star Tribune, November 9, 2005). Apparently the krater features in the dossier of Giacomo Medici's Polaroids seized in the Geneva Freeport. In 2006 it was said that the MIA was researching the krater: "The MIA is researching the vase, and has not been contacted by Italian authorities ..." (Steve Karnowski, "To protect the treasures, museums find detective work pays", AP, June 14, 2006) Is there documented evidence to show that the krater was known prior to 1970? Will the MIA release its findings?
Will Feldman release the full collecting history ("provenance") for this krater? What are the results of the 2006 research into the piece? And if the krater does indeed feature in the Medici dossier will she be handing it over to the Italian authorities in the spirit of the MOU with Italy?

Pots attributed to the Methyse painter are interesting. They include:
  • an oinochoe from a Swiss private collection first recorded in 1976
  • a bell-krater that surfaced in a London Sotheby's sale in  July 1982 
  • a bell-krater that surfaced in Sotheby's New York in November 1989
  • a bell-krater in a New York private collection (attributed by Robert Guy)
  • bell-krater fragments on the Basel market
  • a hydria that surfaced on the Swiss market
Those with recorded find-spots include:
  • two loutrophoros fragments from the Athenian acropolis
  • a bell-krater fragment from the Athenian acropolis
  • a bell-krater from Argos
  • a fragment from Argos
  • a fragment said to be from Boeotia
  • a bell-krater fragment from Camarina
  • a calyx-krater from Vulci
  • a stamnos from Vulci
  • a stamnos said to be from Vulci
  • a dinos fragment from Spina
  • a bell-krater said to be from Numana
  • a chous from Kerch
What is the collecting history of the piece in Minneapolis? Where was it found?


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