Monday, January 30, 2006

Another casualty at the Getty

"A trustee of the J. Paul Getty Trust whose donated collection to the museum included a stolen ancient Roman sculpture has resigned, officials said.The board of trustees accepted the resignation Wednesday of wealthy art collector Barbara G. Fleischman, who had been a board member since 2000 . . . . The board thanked Fleischman for her support and for substantial contributions she and her late husband, Lawrence, had made to the museum.The Getty has drawn sharp criticism from the art world in recent years as Italy and Greece claimed that looted artifacts had appeared in the Getty collection. The Getty's former antiquities curator, Marion True, is now on trial in Rome on charges alleging she conspired with dealers to traffic in looted antiquities. She has denied wrongdoing. The acquisition of the Fleischmans' collection in 1996 also stirred questions about the lack of documented ownership history for several of the pieces."
Although the items currently under discussion are mainly Roman, the museum world is watching with interest. Egypt has claims against the Getty itself, and the outcomes of the Getty case may see many claims against museums for items which have been obtained under disputed circumstances.

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