Skip to main content

Antiquities from the Shelby White Collection to go on Display in Rome

Lee Rosenbaum has reported that nine antiquities formerly in the possession of Shelby White will go on display in the Palazzo Poli in Rome tomorrow (March 29). It appears that a list of the ten antiquities (one will follow the other nine) has yet to be issued. Why the delay? What is there to hide?

Shelby White no doubt hopes that this will mean closure. But will it? Is this just the end for the antiquities that featured in the Glories of the Past catalogue?

Remember Elisabetta Povoledo's comments last year ("An Impasse in Italian Talks Over Return of Artifacts", New York Times, May 26, 2007):
Last November [2006] the Italian Culture Ministry presented Ms. White with a list of more than 20 pieces in her collection that its investigators had tracked to dealers who Italy says have been linked to looted antiquities. (The list was narrowed to nine during the negotiations.) Those dealers include Giacomo Medici, an Italian antiquities dealer who is appealing a 2004 conviction in a Rome court for dealing in illicit archaeological artifacts, and Robin Symes, a London dealer under investigation here who has not been indicted.
What are the other ten objects? Do they appear in the Geneva Polaroids?

And what about other pieces in her collection that did not appear in Glories?

I remain interested in the archaic bronze volute-krater of Trebenishte type that has been on fairly long-term loan to Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Will the full details of its past collecting history be disclosed?

Image
Attic red-figured calyx-krater attributed to the Eucharides painter. Once in the Shelby White collection; once on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; perhaps handed over to Italian authorities. Source: The New York Observer.

Comments

mgconde said…
DICHIARAZIONE CONGIUNTA MIBAC-SHELBY WHITE

Pubblicato il 28/03/2008. [Fonti source: Rome, MIBAC.] =
http://www.beniculturali.it/sala/dettaglio-comunicato.asp?nd=ss,cs&Id=2626

Il Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali ha la responsabilità del patrimonio archeologico italiano affinché esso sia preservato e venga garantito il carattere scientifico della ricerca archeologica e delle operazioni di scavo.

Shelby White e suo marito Leon Levy hanno da lungo tempo sostenuto scavi archeologici, pubblicazioni, restauri e mostre in paesi di tutto il mondo. La signora White ha dichiarato che “la nostra collezione è stata acquistata in aste pubbliche e da commercianti che ritenevamo affidabili. Nel caso degli oggetti che ho volontariamente offerto di restituire, ho ritenuto che le prove fossero sufficienti a dimostrare che la loro fuoriuscita dall’Italia fosse discutibile”.

A riconoscimento della politica dello Stato italiano per recuperare oggetti archeologici e promuovere e tutelare la valorizzazione del patrimonio culturale italiano, la signora Shelby White ha mostrato grande sensibilità e preso l’iniziativa volontaria di concedere il rientro di dieci oggetti, incluso il cratere di Eufronio, dalla sua collezione all’Italia.

Gli oggetti sono stati consegnati all’Italia attraverso il suo Consolato a New York a inizio anno.

Il Ministero, accettando gli oggetti offerti, riconosce di non avere prove, né richieste legali che sia Leon Levy sia Shelby White abbiano agito illegalmente o impropriamente nella acquisizione di questi oggetti. Entrambe le parti esprimono la loro soddisfazione per il positivo esito del negoziato.

(fine del comunicato)

Gli oggetti provenienti dalla collezione di Shelby White saranno esposti per la prima volta in Italia a Palazzo Fontana di Trevi a Roma, a partire da domani 29 marzo. La mostra presenta capolavori archeologici rientrati nel nostro Paese a seguito degli accordi raggiunti dal Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali con importanti musei americani e collezionisti d’arte internazionali, finora esposti con uno straordinario successo di pubblico al Palazzo del Quirinale.

L’anteprima per la stampa è fissata per domani mattina alle ore 11. L’apertura al pubblico si terrà a partire dalle 11.30 con ingresso gratuito.

Posted by:
Martin G. Conde
Washington DC, USA
mgconde@yahoo.com

Popular posts from this blog

Marble bull's head from the temple of Eshmun

Excavations at the temple of Eshmun in Lebanon recovered a marble bull's head. It is now suggested that it was this head, apparently first published in 1967, that was placed on loan to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (Tom Mashberg, "Met Museum Turns Over Another Relic With Disputed Past to Prosecutors", New York Times August 1, 2017 ). The head is reported to have been handed over to the Manhattan district attorney after a request was received from the Lebanese authorities.

It is suggested that the head may have been looted from an archaeological storage area at Byblos in the 1980s during the Lebanese civil war. Mashberg has rehearsed the recent collecting history:
The owners of the bull’s head, Lynda and William Beierwaltes of Colorado, say they have clear title to the item and have sued Manhattan prosecutors for its return.  The Beierwaltes bought the head from a dealer in London in 1996 for more than $1 million and then sold it to another collector, Michael …

The Toledo skyphos and a Swiss private collection

The Attic red-figured skyphos attributed to the Kleophon painter in the Toledo Museum of Art (inv. 1982.88) is now coming under further scrutiny following the research of Dr Christos Tsirogiannis. The skyphos shows Hephaistos returning to Olympos.

Tsirogiannis has identified what appears to be this skyphos in five photographs in the Medici Dossier. The museum acknowledged that the skyphos had resided in a 'private Swiss collection'. Tsirogiannis suggests that this is probably a reference to Medici.

Enquiries to the museum by Tsirogiannis elicited the information that the skyphos had been acquired from Nicholas Koutoulakis (although that information does not appear on the museum's online catalogue).

The curatorial team at the Toledo Museum of Art will, no doubt, be contacting the Italian authorities to discuss the future residence of the skyphos.

For further discussion of the Toledo Museum of Art on LM see here.

Reference
Tsirogiannis, C. 2017. "Nekyia: Museum ethics an…

Metropolitan Museum of Art hands over Paestan krater

In May 2014 I commented on a Paestan krater acquired by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art after it had been identified by Dr Christos Tsirogiannis in photographic images seized from Giacomo Medici. Tsirogiannis published his full concerns in the Journal of Art Crime in 2014, but it has taken a further three years for the museum to respond.

The krater showing Dionysos in a hand-drawn cart was purchased in 1989 from the Bothmer Purchase Fund (details from the Museum's website, inv. 1989.11.4). The krater surfaced through Sotheby's New York in June 1989.

It is unclear who consigned the krater to Sotheby's New York.

It has now been revealed that the krater has been handed over to the US authorities after a warrant had been issued (Tom Mashberg, "Ancient Vase Seized From Met Museum on Suspicion It Was Looted", New York Times July 31, 2018).

It appears that the museum did make an attempt to resolve the case in December 2016. Mashberg notes:
The Met, for its par…