Skip to main content

The Getty will be returning

So the Getty will be returning 40 antiquities to Italy. (See report by Ralph Frammolino and Jason Felch in the LA Times, August 1, 2007.)

The decision was made at the eleventh hour (so to speak) but it is welcomed. The list of the 40 objects has been released by the Getty.

Essentially the items are the same as the ones in the November 2006 list of 26 objects. However there are 14 new additions. As expected there were several items from the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman collection.

1. Attic Black-Figured Amphora (Painter of Berlin 1686) (96.AE.92). Reassembled by Fritz Bürki (1988); Atlantis Antiquities (1988). Fleischman, Passion, no. 34.

2. Attic Black-Figured Amphora (96.AE.93). Purchased from Fritz Bürki (1989). Said to have been found with two other pots (in the possession of Robert Hecht and Robin Symes). Fleischman, Passion, no. 35.

3. Attic Red-Figured Cup (96.AE.97). Purchased from Symes (1988). Fleischman, Passion, no. 39.

4. Apulian Red-Figured Bell Krater (96.AE.29). Acquired from Fritz Bürki. Fleischman, Passion, no. 56.

5. Bronze Mirror with Relief-Decorated Cover (96.AC.132). Apparently found at Tarquinia. Fleischman, Passion, no. 83.

6. Statuette of Tyche (96.AA.49). Purchased from Robin Symes; purchased from the Fleischmans for US$2 million. Fleischman, Passion, no. 120.

7. Fragment of a fresco: lunette with mask of Hercules – (96.AG.171). Purchased from Fritz Bürki. Associated with a fragment in the Shelby White collection. Fleischman, Passion, no. 126.

The remaining pieces include the acrolithic statue, perhaps from Morgantina, as well as several pieces of Attic pottery.

8. Cult Statue of a Goddess, perhaps Aphrodite (88.AA.76). (=Masterpieces, p. 83)

9. Marble Bust of a Man (85.AA.265)

10. Attic Red-Figured Calyx Krater (“Birds”) (82.AE.83).

11. Attic Red-Figured Neck Amphora (84.AE.63). Attributed to Euthymides. [Details]

12. Attic Red-Figured Amphora with Lid (79.AE.139). Attributed to the Geras painter. [Detail]

13. Attic Red-Figured Kylix (83.AE.287). Attributed to Epiktetos.

14. Attic Janiform Kantharos (83.AE.218). [Detail]

Other items appear in the Polaroids from the Geneva Freeport - so there may be additions to this list.

The appearance of former Fleischman material in both Getty lists supports our earlier comments in The American Journal of Archaeolgy about the way that collection was formed. (Links to related material, though Athens password required for parts.)

A full discussion of the November 2006 items (and with a prediction about some of the additional items) is now in press.


Popular posts from this blog

Marble bull's head from the temple of Eshmun

Excavations at the temple of Eshmun in Lebanon recovered a marble bull's head. It is now suggested that it was this head, apparently first published in 1967, that was placed on loan to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (Tom Mashberg, "Met Museum Turns Over Another Relic With Disputed Past to Prosecutors", New York Times August 1, 2017 ). The head is reported to have been handed over to the Manhattan district attorney after a request was received from the Lebanese authorities.

It is suggested that the head may have been looted from an archaeological storage area at Byblos in the 1980s during the Lebanese civil war. Mashberg has rehearsed the recent collecting history:
The owners of the bull’s head, Lynda and William Beierwaltes of Colorado, say they have clear title to the item and have sued Manhattan prosecutors for its return.  The Beierwaltes bought the head from a dealer in London in 1996 for more than $1 million and then sold it to another collector, Michael …

Sardinian warrior from "old Swiss collection"

One of the Sardinian bronzes of a warrior was seized from an as yet unnamed Manahattan gallery. It appears to be the one that passed through the Royal-Athena Gallery: Art of the Ancient World 23 (2012) no. 71. The collecting history for that warrior suggests that it was acquired in 1990 from a private collection in Geneva.

Other clues suggested that the warrior has resided in a New York private collection.

The identity of the private collection in Geneva will no doubt be telling.

The warrior also features in this news story: Jennifer Peltz, "Looted statues, pottery returned to Italy after probe in NYC", ABC News May 25 2017.

Attic amphora handed back to Italians

The research of Dr Christos Tsirogiannis has led to the return of an Attic red-figured amphora, attributed to the Harrow painter, to Italy (Tom Mashberg, "Stolen Etruscan Vessel to Be Returned to Italy", New York Times March 16, 2017).

The amphora is known to have passed through the hands of Swiss-based dealer Gianfranco Becchina in 1993, and then through a New York gallery around 2000 (although its movements between those dates are as yet undisclosed).

During the ceremony, Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., the District Attorney stated:
“When looters overrun historic sites, mine sacred spaces for prized relics, and peddle stolen property for top dollar, they do so with the implicit endorsement of all those who knowingly trade in stolen antiquities” More research clearly needs to be conducted on how material handled by Becchina passed into the North American market and into the hands of private and public collectors.