Saturday, June 23, 2012

Toledo: first stage over?

Etruscan hydria
The news that the Etruscan hydria would be returned from the Toledo Museum of Art hardly comes as a surprise. In March 2006, Vanity Fair ("The Getty's Blue Period") noted:
True was indicted last April by Paolo Ferri, a tenacious Italian prosecutor who had been working on the case for many years. The primary evidence was Polaroid photos of thousands of allegedly looted antiquities, some still covered in dirt, which had been discovered in a Swiss warehouse belonging to Giacomo Medici, a Maserati-driving Italian dealer. While True is the only major museum curator to have been indicted by Ferri, the Getty is not the only U.S. museum to own objects that appear in the photographs. So do New York's Metropolitan Museum, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Princeton University Art Museum, according to Italian court records.
As well the J. Paul Getty Museum, each of the museums noted in the article have returned objects to Italy. Boston led the way in a prompt and dignified manner, although museums such as Minneapolis and Toledo have rather let the affair drag out.


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