Monday, January 14, 2013

Princeton update

Source: MiBAC
In June 2010 the New York Times suggested that there was an Italian investigation into a number of acquisitions at the Princeton University Art Museum and that this included the role of one of the museum's curator. The curator in question responded in the July 2010 number of the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

In January 2012 it was announced by the Italians (but not by Princeton) that Princeton would be returning a number of antiquities to Italy.

A discussion of the return (including a statement by the curator in question emphasising his innocence) was published in an academic journal during the summer of 2012.

The Princeton return had implications for other North American collections including Dallas.

It now appears that the Italian investigation into the Princeton curator is at an end (Mark F. Bernstein, "Curator no longer part of probe", Princeton Alumni Weekly January 16, 2013). Michael Padgett emailed PAW:
I’m pleased to tell you that last month I was notified that the investigation by the Rome prosecutor’s office relating to me has been fully and formally dismissed, and is now closed ... [T]his was the outcome we expected and is consistent with the University’s own findings.
There is no comment on the recommendations to acquire the now returned objects. And will the university authorities be investigating the process that allowed these toxic antiquities to enter its distinguished collection?

Where does this leave the other objects that remain in Princeton? Will the museum publish their full collecting histories?

Princeton appears to have left many questions unanswered.

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