Thursday, 7 February 2008

Shelby White: Waiting for the Press Release, Week 3

For some reason Shelby White does not yet appear to have issued a list of the antiquities handed over to the Italian authorities some three weeks ago.

Is there some good reason for restricting access to this information?

I am not the only one waiting. A contact from Italy reminded me of the lists that were available at the time of the 2004 trial of Giacomo Medici. I am informed that these lists were divided into separate collections and indicated (in Italian),
The above artifacts are reproduced in photographs seized from Giacomo Medici at the Geneva Freeport.
A selection of lists ("Dossier") appeared in the back of Peter Watson and Celia Todeschini, The Medici Conspiracy (2006). I used the Medici Conspiracy's "Dossier" ("Antiquities in the Levy-White Collection Shown in the Polaroids Seized in Corridor 17 in Geneva") to compile a possible list (including the three certain items the New York Times had included).

But the "Medici Trial" list appears to be slightly different. A possible reason is that The Medici Conspiracy was based on the list compiled by Maurizio Pellegrini from his study of the Geneva Polaroids (see chapter 6: "The Paper Trail, The Polaroids, and The 'Cordata'").

In the "Medici Trial" list and known to be on the list of returns according to the New York Times:
i. An Attic red-figured calyx-krater. A: Zeus and Ganymede. B: Herakles and Iolaos. Attributed to the Eucharides painter. Glories of the Past no. 117.

In the "Medici Trial" list; status not yet declared (and also in the Medici Conspiracy "Dossier"):
ii. Bronze statue of naked youth. Glories of the Past no. 87.
iii. Chalcidian neck-amphora. Attributed to the painter of the Cambridge Hydria Cavalcade. Glories of the Past no. 102.
iv. Attic black-figured neck-amphora of Panathenaic shape. Attributed to the painter of Louvre F 6. Glories of the Past no. 104.
v. Attic black-figured neck-amphora. Attributed to the Bucci painter (by J. Robert Guy). Glories of the Past no. 106.
vi. Attic black-figured neck-amphora. Attributed to a painter of the Medea group. Glories of the Past no. 107.
vii-viii. Two Caeretan hydriae. One showing a panther and lioness; the other showing Odysseus and Polyphemos' cave.

That makes eight items.

And the New York Times identified two more certain returns:
ix. An Attic red-figured calyx-krater. Herakles slaying Kyknos. Euphronios.
x. A fragment of Roman fresco. Glories of the Past no. 142. [See possible reconstruction]

And that makes ten.

But they need not be the ten being returned to Italy.

Indeed, there may be a totally innocent reason why eight of these pieces appeared in the Geneva Polaroids.

So why is Shelby White holding back on this information? Is there something to hide? Who supplied these ten pieces? Will she disclose their full histories?

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Further returns from the Getty announced

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