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Last Updated: Monday, 3 October 2005, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Getty to return disputed artworks
The J Paul Getty Museum has agreed to return three ancient artworks which were allegedly stolen from Italy.

Italy's Culture Minister Rocco Buttiglione said an official would be sent to the US to pick up the works.

In July, Italian prosecutors charged the curator Marion True of conspiracy to receive stolen goods and illegal receipt of archaeological artefacts.

Ms True denies the charges and the museum has defended her. Italy wants the Getty to return 42 artefacts.

Wrongdoing

Three of the artefacts were returned by the museum to Italy in 1999.

Prosecutors believe the items were illegally excavated or stolen and later acquired by the Getty, including a prized ancient Greek statue of Aphrodite.

The three works the Getty has agreed to return are a large antique bowl signed by Asteas, a painter from the ancient southern Italian city of Paestum, a bronze Etruscan candelabra and an ancient Greek inscription.

Italian culture ministry spokesman Walter Guarracino said officials will travel to Los Angeles "within the next few days" to receive the artefacts, in the form of a donation from the Getty.

Resigned

He said it allows the museum to avoid admitting any wrongdoing in the acquisition of the objects and does not change Italy's position in its trial against Ms True.

Italy alleged Ms True was involved in the trade of the artworks which were dug up in Italy and bought by the museum between 1986 and the late 1990s.

Ms True's trial, together with that of Paris-based art dealer Emanuel Robert Hecht, is due to continue on 16 November having been adjourned after opening remarks in July.

Ms True has since resigned from her position as the Getty's antiquities curator over a separate issue.




SEE ALSO:
Museums thwart artefact claims
09 Dec 02 |  Entertainment
Ancient objects return to Italy
14 Nov 01 |  Entertainment


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