Monday, 28 February 2022

Apulian grave group in Berlin subject to Italian court order

Apulian grave group currently in Berlin
© David Gill

The apparent grave group consisting of Apulian pottery now in Berlin is the subject of a court order from the Tribunale di Roma ("Scoppia la "guerra" dell'arte Italia-Germania. Il tribunale di Roma confisca 21 vasi al museo di Berlino", ItTempo.it February 25, 2022). The group has been the subject of discussion by LM back in 2007. Three of the volute-kraters are attributed to the Darius painter. This painter was the subject of an exhibition in Geneva: 
Aellen, Christian, Alexandre Cambitoglou, and Jacques Chamay. 1986. Le Peintre de Darius et son Milieu: Vases grecs d'Italie méridionale. Hellas et Roma, vol. 4. Geneva: Association Hellas et Roma.
The Berlin pots were acquired in 1983 (and accessioned in 1984), and they appear in the Medici Dossier. 

The acquisition record links the group to Jacques Chamay of Geneva's Museum of Art and History. 
«l’organo giudicante evidenziava una complicità con Medici degli indagati Jacques Chamay, all’epoca direttore del museo archeologico di Ginevra, e Fiorella Cottier Angeli, restauratrice, nella vendita al museo archeologico di Berlino dei 21 vasi».
It has been suggested that the grave group had once resided in a 19th century collection but there does not appear to be any authenticated documentation to support this claim. 

Will Berlin finally return this group to Italy?

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Thursday, 24 February 2022

Steinhardt Antiquities Returned to Greece

Kouros seized from the Steinhardt Collection
Source: Manhattan DA

Antiquities worth some $20 million that were seized from the collection of Michael Steinhardt have been handed over to Greece (Press Release, "55 Antiquities Valued at More Than $20 Million Repatriated to the People of Greece", February 2022). 

The kouros as well as a Minoan hoard were all acquired from Robert Hecht. 

The release also notes: "Eight other pieces that were seized pursuant to another ongoing investigation were also repatriated." Does this mean that there is due to be another announcement?

LM listed the antiquities that would be returning to Greece back in December 2021. 

Developments in Sicily: Gianfranco Becchina

It has been reported that the assets of Gianfranco Becchina have been confiscated by a court in Sicily (Francesco Patanè, " Commercio i...