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Marion True: civil charges dropped

As the Getty and Italy signed the agreement to formalise the return of antiquities, Jason Welch and Livia Borghese in the LA Times reported "Italy drops civil charges against ex-Getty curator" (September 25, 2007).

"Maurizio Fiorilli, a state lawyer representing Italy, said he would announce his intent to withdraw from the trial when the proceedings resume today. But the more serious criminal trial against True, 58, will continue."

So what is the criminal trial about?

"Ferri said the criminal trial, the first in which an American curator has been charged by a foreign county, was intended to be both punitive and preventive. 'The preventive aspect was to say to museums: Please stop this buying in an illicit fashion, and please return the objects,' Ferri said in an interview Tuesday. 'This has now been achieved, and museums that are obliged to surrender objects won't be in the same trouble.'"

The publication of research by Gill and Chippindale on (some of) the returning antiquities from the Getty is timely.

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