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Creative collecting histories?

The "Merrin Zeus" is a reminder that purchasers need to have fully documented collecting histories that can be traced back to the period before 1970. If the Zeus was indeed removed from the Museo Nazionale Romano in 1980 it would appear that the collecting history that it had been in an old Swiss collection in the 1960s was fabricated. Who created the account? Who knew it was fiction?

The Castor and Pollux statues now on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art also have an interesting collecting history. Where did they acquire the reported find-spot of the Mithraeum in Sidon? The curatorial staff at the Met have yet to present their documented and authenticated collecting history.

What do the Zeus and the Dioskouroi have in common?

Image
Head from Roman marble statuette. The Schinoussa Archive.

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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…