Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek and Italy: "trasforma una crisi in opportunità"

The Italian Government and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen have come to an agreement over a series of objects acquired from the 1970s ("TORNA IN ITALIA IL PREZIOSO CARRO SABINO A DECORAZIONI DORATE: Franceschini, storico accordo tra l’Italia e il museo Ny Calsberg Glyptotek di Copenhagen", MIBACT 5 July 2016 [press release]). Although the press release is vague ("collezione di antichità del museo danese sin dagli anni Settanta del Novecento") it would appear that the objects are those associated with Robert Hecht (presumably "mercato internazionale dell’arte") and discussed by Elisabetta Povoledo in 2009. The original Italian request goes back to 2002 and renewed in 2007.

The press release also appears on the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek's website ("HISTORIC AGREEMENT BETWEEN ITALY AND THE NY CARLSBERG GLYPTOTEK"). One of the key sections provides information about the return:
About the Restitution 
The agreement is the result of the academic dialogue which has proceeded since the spring of 2012 between the Ministry of Culture in Italy and the Glyptotek. The agreement complies with the wishes of the Italian state for the restitution of a number of archaeological, primarily Etruscan objects which the Glyptotek acquired at the beginning of the 1970s through the international art market. Since that time investigations have shown that the objects had been unearthed in illegal excavations in Italy and exported without licence, which is why from a point of reason and common sense there is a consensus that these particular objects should return to Italy. 
The restitution which covers, for instance, the famous princely tomb from Sabina, begins in December this year and should be complete by the end of 2017.
One can only wonder if other museums in Japan, Holland and North America are preparing for further returns.

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