Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Death of Robert Hecht announced

It appears that Robert Hecht died in Paris earlier today (February 8, 2012). Details have been posted by Jason Felch on LA Times (Culture Monster) ("Robert E. Hecht Jr., figure in antiquities case involving the Getty, is dead") although I have had separate confirmation from Rome.

Hecht, whose final years of life were dominated by his trial in Rome, was linked with a number of antiquities that were returned to Italy from North American collections (such as the Sarpedon krater and the Morgantina hoard plus antiquities in BostonCleveland and Princeton), as well as the infamous Athena II Fund. Other items include the Butrint Livia and antiquities in Copenhagen and other north European collections (including the UK).

Did the sale of the Sarpedon krater to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1972 lead directly to the passing of the 1973 AIA resolution? So perhaps Hecht was responsible (unintentionally!) for setting in motion the line of enquiry that led to the unmasking of the Medici Conspiracy, the return of well over 100 antiquities to Italy, and the damage to the reputation to some of North America's most prestigious museums.

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