Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sarpedon emerges for public display in Rome

Vernon Silver's study of the Euphronios cup is a must-read for anybody interested in the way that antiquities were removed from their archaeological contexts and then passed into the market.

Silver now completes the story of the "lost" cup "signed" by Euphronios showing Hypnos and Thanatos with Sarpedon (a companion piece to the Sarpedon krater returned from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art). This cup had formed part of the Hunt Collection (Wealth of the Ancient World [1983] no. 5) and had been sold at Sotheby's in 1990 (19 June 1990, lot 6). Silver writes:
Euphronios’ Sarpedon kylix has gone on display at Rome’s Villa Giulia museum with no fanfare or public announcement.
There does not appear to be an official press release from the Italian Ministry of Culture.

The cup is displayed alongside other pieces returned from Italy (including the krater returned by Shelby White) and Silver notes:
Its label, which has no accession number, describes it as coming from the Geneva raid (and doesn’t mention that, technically, it’s still Medici’s property, pending the resolution of his legal cases).


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1 comment:

Liz Marlowe said...

Fantastic news! Do any Looting Matters readers know if anyone has weighed in on the implications of the fact that one Etruscan tomb may have contained two scenes of the Death of Sarpedon painted by Euphronios? Might this not suggest that at least some Etruscan buyers were more discerning than we've allowed?

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