Skip to main content

Marion True and Greece: The Rome Trial Continues

The Rome trial of Marion True has continued (Elisabetta Povoledo, "Antiquities Trial Continues in Rome", New York Times, February 21, 2008). Daniela Rizzo has been giving evidence in court as a prosecution witness.
A prosecution witness painstakingly presented the court with photographs and documents on Wednesday in an effort to establish that more than a dozen looted artifacts had made their way into the Getty’s collection.
Some of the objects illustrated in court are now exhibited in Rome,
"Nostoi: Capolavori Ritrovati": 43 items were formerly in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum. These include 11 pieces formerly in the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman collection (one of the returning Roman wall-painting fragments appears to be from the same room as a fragment returned by Shelby White), and three from the Maurice Tempelsman collection.

Many of these returning objects were acquired during the curatorship of Marion True (see "Marion True: some preliminary thoughts on the New Yorker Interview").

Commenting on images of objects clearly fresh out of the ground, Rizzo said:
If it came from an authorized dig, it would say so and give a date ... The fact that it doesn’t makes you think, doesn’t it?
Indeed it does.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Codename: Ainsbrook

I have been watching (UK) Channel 4's Time Team this evening. The programme looked at an undisclosed field (under a potato crop) where a Viking burial had been found. The location in Yorkshire was so sensitive that it was given a codename: Ainsbrook. Here is the summary:
In late 2003 two metal detectorists were working in a field in Yorkshire. They found 'treasure' buried just beneath the surface – a collection of Viking material next to a body. Although they had been detecting on the site for a number of years, during which time they had made large numbers of finds, nothing they had uncovered previously compared with this. They decided to share their discovery with archaeologists.The programme explored the tension between metal-detectorists and the English Heritage sponsored archaeologists putting six trenches into the field based on a geo-physical survey. Finds made by the metal-detectorists did not easily map onto the archaeological features.

Part of the programme had an …

The scale of the returns to Italy

I have been busy working on an overview, "Returning Archaeological Objects to Italy". The scale of the returns to Italy from North American collections and galleries is staggering: in excess of 350 objects. This is clearly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the material that has surfaced on the market without a history that can be traced back to the period before 1970. 

I will provide more information in due course, but the researcher is a reminder that we need to take due diligence seriously when it comes to making acquisitions.

Stele returns to Greece

The Hellenic Ministry of Culture has announced (Saturday 8 September 2018) that a stele that had been due to be auctioned at Sotheby's in London in June 2017 has been returned to Greece (Friday 7 September 2018). The identification had been made by Cambridge-based forensic archaeologist Dr Christos Tsirogiannis.

It appeared that the stele had been supplied with a falsified history as its presence with Becchina until 1990 contradicted the published sale catalogue entry. It then moved into the hands of George Ortiz.

A year ago it was suggested that Sotheby's should contact the Greek authorities. Those negotiations appear to have concluded successfully.

The 4th century BC stele fragment, with the personal name, Hestiaios, will be displayed in the Epigraphic Museum in Athens. It appears to have come from a cemetery in Attica.