Following on from the end of Marion True’s trial, it seems as though this is a case where the approach of direct legal action by Italy may have caused as many problems as it solved. Huge amounts were spent on a trial involving an institution that had been largely cooperative regarding the return of disputed artefacts in the past (bear in mind that this article is from the perspective of the Getty however – I think that this cooperation might not have seemed to apparent to the other parties that wanted artefacts returned that they knew were looted, yet didn’t have conclusive proof of this.
The Art Newspaper
“Neither condemned nor vindicated”
Marion True on why it is hard to accept the lack of verdict after her five-year trial
By Marion True | From issue 220, January 2011
Published online 5 Jan 11 (News)
The trial of Marion True, the former antiquities curator of the Getty Museum (which for many years has been one of the leading collectors of world-class antiquities), for conspiring to receive antiquities that had been illegally excavated and exported from Italy, began on 16 November 2005. The Art Newspaper has been covering the trial since its outset. Until March 2009, the prosecution worked through its case, and then the defence began cross-examining witnesses, but True has had no opportunity to present her case directly. Here, she tells The Art Newspaper about the trial and its outcome.
A headline in The Art Newspaper in June 2010 announced that the trial in Rome against me had “collapsed” after five years, the statutes of limitations for all crimes of which I was accused by the Italian state having expired. The court officially recognised this fact on 13 October in a hearing of 12 minutes. Thus, my five-year long trial ended without judgment—neither condemnation nor vindication, a reality hard to accept, given the distorted and slanderous allegations against me. Throughout, my lawyers advised me not to speak out, not to undermine my defence.
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