Julie Jaskol, Assistant Director for Media Relations at the Getty, kindly writes:
They were donated to the Getty by Robin Symes in 1988, and after research conducted by the Getty, now are under study in Rome. We initiated a study of the fragments (many no more than chips) several years ago when research indicated that joins were possible, but we weren't able to make this connection until the Italians published the Ascoli Satriano vessels some years after their discovery.
In his letter to Director General Luigi Malnati last January, Jim Cuno said, "The Getty acquired these objects as a gift in 1988, in the hope that they would be preserved and studied and eventually reconnected with other fragments of the same objects. Happily, careful scholarship has led to that result. Working with colleagues in Italy, Getty curators have determined that the fragments in our possession are very likely to match with vessels from Ascoli Satriano. It is our hope that the fragments can be examined to ascertain their pertinence, and rejoined to these vessels."
Dr. Malnati invited Claire Lyons to join a committee formed as a research collaboration to examine the pieces.
The pieces are:
88.AA.140-.42 - fragments of marble vessels, handles, rims (86)
88.AA.143 -- four marble stands
88.AA.144 - three marble feline pawsThe items appear in the Journal of the J. Paul Getty Museum 17 (1989), 111 under no. 14, "158 fragments of vessels and sculpture" [JSTOR]. 67 of these fragments were linked to a statue of Apollo (inv. 85.AA.108) since returned to Italy. The source is listed as 'by donation'.
What other gifts did the Getty receive from Symes?