Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Marion True: charges dropped

Earlier today formal charges against Marion True, a former curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum, were dropped due to the statute of limitations (Jason Felch, "Charges dismissed against ex-Getty curator Marion True by Italian judge", LA Times October 13, 2010). The trial has certainly been long-running.

Felch notes:
True had dealings with Medici and his business partner, Robert Hecht. The acquisition of the private collection of Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman in 1996 of more than 300 antiquities marked the peak of the Getty's collecting period, and would later form the core of the Italian prosecutor's charges.

There is a note about True's position on recently-surfaced antiquities:
She has since become an outspoken critic of the way museums used to acquire antiquities. In her one interview with the press, True told a reporter for the New Yorker that she was innocent and argued that she had done more to further the Italian cause than any other curator in America.
The December 2007 interview for the New Yorker did, however, reveal other issues including the flawed arguments of John H. Merryman.

This is not the end of all the legal cases. Felch notes:
True's co-defendant Giacomo Medici was convicted on related charges and his conviction was twice upheld on appeal. Robert Hecht, another co-defendant, remains on trial as the alleged head of the conspiracy, but the statute of limitations on his charges will expire in July.
Has the trial been a failure? The evidence presented during the Rome trials has been a reminder of how recently-surfaced antiquities enter the market and are acquired by major museums.

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