Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Getty Givebacks (continued)

I just got off the phone with the Getty's head spokesperson, Ron Hartwig, who said Michael Brand and George Voulgarakis merely handed reporters in Athens the following statement and then left the room---a far cry from the prompt publication of the recent detailed agreement between the Met and Italy:

ATHENS, GREECE— Michael Brand, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture issued a joint statement in English and Greek following a meeting in Athens, Tuesday, May 16. Following is the statement released by Dr. Brand:

“Officials of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture met today with representatives of the J. Paul Getty Museum and had productive discussions.

“In establishing the framework of a good relationship between the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and the J. Paul Getty Museum, it was agreed that the representatives of the Museum will recommend to the board of Trustees the return of some of the claimed antiquities in the near future.

“The talks are ongoing and representatives will be appointed to seek resolution of the matter within the next two to three months. Once the requirements of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture are met, a fruitful cooperation which could include long-term loans, can start.”

The talks focused on four objects in the Getty's collection. The Getty's negotiations concerning 52 objects claimed by Italy are expected to resume soon, after the museum completes examining the evidence provided at the first meeting in January.

It appears that Philippe de Montebello's roadmap, involving longterm loans to compensate for givebacks, is gaining traction.

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