Friday, June 23, 2006


Italy Ups the Stakes

Not mentioned in the NY Times coverage of the tentative accord between the Getty Trust and Italian authorities (but mentioned by the LA Times and by ANSA, the Italian news agency) is the fact that the Italians, during the latest round of negotiations, added 33 more objects to the list of 52 that they were seeking. According to ANSA, these included the "Athlete of Lysippos," presumably the famous 4th-century B.C. "Getty bronze," which the museum catalogues as "perhaps by a pupil of Lysippos."

The ANSA piece was sent to me by the Italian Ministry of Culture, whose press officer, Tiziana Benini, vouched for its accuracy. She also said that she did not expect a final agreement to be reached until September.

As for the fate of Marion True, Benini said this still rests in the hands of the judge, notwithstanding any agreement between the Getty and the Culture Ministry.

By the way, if you wanted to see a photo of the dirt-encrusted Getty Griffins, you didn't have to have been in Italian court; all you have to do is pick up a copy of Peter Watson's book, "The Medici Conspiracy."

No wonder Getty Museum director Michael Brand had told me that the presention of the dirty-griffins photo at the True's trial "did not come as a surprise." It shouldn't have come as a surprise to me, either!

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