Friday 12 August 2022

Further returns from the Getty announced

The items include three terracotta figures known as 'Orpheus and the Sirens' acquired in 1976 (inv. 76.AD.11). They were purchased from Bank Leu in Zurich. (For further information see the catalogue of terracottas at the Getty.)

Four other items from the Getty will be returned:
Recent research by Getty and independent scholars also determined that it is appropriate to return a second-century AD colossal marble head of a divinity; a second-century AD stone mold for casting pendants; an oil painting entitled Oracle at Delphi, 1881, by Camillo Miola; and a fourth-century BC Etruscan bronze thymiaterion. The first three of these objects were acquired by J. Paul Getty and the Getty Museum in the 1970s; the fourth in 1996. None of these objects have been on public view in recent years. Getty is currently working with the Ministry of Culture to arrange their returns.
There is no indication in the press statement about the sources though I understand that several feature in the photographic archives seized in Switzerland and Greece. 

The colossal marble head (inv. 72.AL.96) was acquired from Robin Symes. An Etruscan bronze thymiaterion was acquired in 1996 from the Fleischman collection (inv. 96.AC.253). It was sold to the  Fleischmans in 1987 by Edoardo Almagià. (This would be the second Almagià piece to be returned by the Getty.)

The story also appears in The Art Newspaper (incorrectly stating that the thymiaterion was purchased in 1996).

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Monday 1 August 2022

Parthenon Partnership Proposed

Pedimental Sculptures from the Parthenon © David Gill
Jonathan Williams, the Deputy Director of the British Museum, has called for a 'Parthenon Partnership' to encourage discussion about where the architectural sculptures from the Parthenon should be displayed ("British Museum calls for ‘Parthenon partnership’ with Greece over marbles", The Guardian 31 July 2022). Williams was interviewed by Sarah Baxter of The Sunday Times ("Will the Marbles Finally Go Home?"). 

The museum seems to be restating its ownership of the sculptures though opening up opportunities for dialogue.

The issue is simple. Should architectural sculptures created for a specific building in Athens be displayed within line of sight of that structure? Or should they be retained in London?

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The Stern Collection in New York: Cycladic or Cycladicising?

Courtesy of Christos Tsirogiannis There appears to be excitement about the display of 161 Cycladicising objects at New York's Metropolit...