|Left: Becchina archive. Right: Michael C. Carlos Museum|
A museum director who was faced with the identification of objects, i.e. more than one object, in their collection from this contentious source would no doubt wish to resolve the issue, not least because there is an obligation under the AAMD guidelines (2013). These state:
If a member museum, as a result of its continuing research, gains information that establishes another party’s right to ownership of a Work, the museum should bring this information to the attention of the party, and if the case warrants, initiate the return of the Work to that party, as has been done in the past. In the event that a third party brings to the attention of a member museum information supporting the party’s claim to a Work, the museum should respond promptly and responsibly and take whatever steps are necessary to address this claim, including, if warranted, returning the Work, as has been done in the past.Given that the identifications have been made public in the Greek press as well as elsewhere on the internet, it seems unlikely that the director of the Michael C. Carlos Museum is unaware of the issue. In fact it is very unlikely as the museum issued a press release in 2008 on this very case.
There are some questions to be raised. Has the director of the Michael C. Carlos Museum contacted the Greek authorities in the light of the information that came to light after the acquisition of the larnax and pithos? Has the director of the Michael C. Carlos Museum ignored the issue and hoped that it would go away?
Has the AAMD responded to the situation relating to one of its members?
What do academics in the rest of Emory University think of the situation?
I suspect that the Greek authorities may wish to take the case further.