Wednesday 8 April 2009

Getty Returns Fresco Fragment to Italy

As an "employee" of the Getty, I got an email this morning straight from the director himself about this. The press release attached to the email was rather vague, but the LA Times Culture Monster blog found out more about the repatriation of this Pompeii-esque fresco fragment.

To no one's surprise the fresco was a Fleischman donation...

In its latest effort to return wayward ancient artworks to their rightful owners, the J. Paul Getty Museum will send a Roman fresco fragment to Italy. The fragmentary panel, a roughly 36-by-32-inch section of a wall painting made in the third quarter of the 1st century BC, joined the museum's collection in 1996 as a gift of New York collectors Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman.

The museum --- which has returned 39 antiquities to Italy since 2007 -- listed the fragment as "at some risk of forfeiture" and stated its appraised value at the time of donation as $150,000 in a 2005 internal assessment, compiled during an investigation of objects that might have been illegally exported.

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