Thursday, September 22, 2011

Getty returns antiquities to Greece

Inscription from Thorikos
Source: Hellenic Ministry of Culture
The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture have announced today that the Getty will be returning two antiquities to Greece [press reports: Greek, English] (see also Culturegrrl). The two objects are:

a. A religious calendar from Thorikos, inv. 79.AA.113 [Getty]. Acquired from Jacques Roux. This was acquired by Jiri Frel as part of an attempt to develop a Greek epigraphic collection (see BMCR). See also the US Epigraphy Project.

b. A fragmentary funerary relief, inv. 73.AA.115 [Getty]. Acquired from Nikolas Koutoulakis. Publ. Janet Burnett Grossman, Greek funerary sculpture: catalogue of the collections at the Getty Villa (Los Angeles, 2001) [Worldcat] [Google Books]. The two fragments in the Getty fit a third piece in the Kanellopoulos Museum in Athens (inv. 1168). A reconstruction appears in Greek Funerary Sculpture, p. 11, cat. no. 2. The link between the three fragments was apparently made by Jiri Frel, and reported by Mary-Anne Zagdoun, in a discussion of the Kanellopoulos collection (BCH 102, 1978, 291-292).

Stele fragments.
Source: Hellenic Ministry of Culture
The reunification of the funerary relief makes a great deal of sense. It would be interesting to learn the source of the Kanellopoulos fragment. Where and when was the stele found?

The Thorikos inscription is clearly important for the study of Attic religious calendars. But why has this object been selected for return? When did it leave Greece? What is its full collecting history?

I am grateful to Julie Jaskol in the Getty's Media Relations for this information.

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1 comment:

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Thanks for sharing, David. Now I am curious about the fragment from a metope form the temple of Alea Athena in Tegea the Getty acquired in 1976 (L76. AA13). The piece was published in "Some Greek sculpture in Malibu," J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 8 (1980): 87-97. Or what about the so-called de Bry head, a 2.5 Mill $ fake which was already identified as a fake in 1933? The latter one is my favorite example of how wanna-be archaeologists (A. Stewart) helped covering up for Frel ...

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