Showing results 37 - 48 of 76 for the tag: Legal action.

January 31, 2011

What was achieved by the trial of former Getty curator Marion True in Italy?

Posted at 1:40 pm in Similar cases

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.

From:
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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January 24, 2011

Do international cultural property laws create a split market depending on when artefacts were acquired?

Posted at 1:59 pm in Similar cases

International laws such as Unidrois convention that deal with cases of disputed cultural property (Through their adoption by UNESCO) are seen by many as a good thing – although clearly not by all, as many countries have yet to subscribe to these conventions. The conventions do not act retrospectively however – so there is a strong argument that they have created a division in the market – between those artefacts acquired before the convention came into force & those acquired afterwards. Many collectors fear that these conventions are devaluing their collections – but this point is counterbalanced byt the fact that is the artefact was acquired legitimately & has good provenance (which is the only real way of proving that it was acquired legitimately) then there should not be any problems.

From:
New York Times

Auctions
Wanted: Antiquities Beyond Reproach
By SOUREN MELIKIAN
Published: December 17, 2010

NEW YORK — The impact of the Unidroit convention, adopted by Unesco when endeavoring to protect the artistic heritage of mankind, starting with its archaeological treasures, is beginning to make itself as never before, although not quite in the way that its promoters expected.

By all accounts, the terrifying destruction of archaeological sites goes on, from Syria to Afghanistan to Nepal. But on the auction scene the consequence of Unidroit, to which only a few countries subscribe, is that some collectors live in fear that their favorite game, buying the relics of antiquity, may soon end. Many suspect that objects that cannot be proved to have been acquired before 1970 — the cutoff date set by the Unidroit convention — will become financially worthless or exceedingly difficult to negotiate.
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Strong legal framework & international collaboration are the key to reclaiming disputed artefacts

Posted at 1:48 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Greek Ministry of Culture Acting Deputy General Director of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki has given an interview in China, indicating what she sees as the way forward (as it applies to both Greece & China) in securing the restitution of disputed artefacts. this is interesting, particularly int he light of the recent conference, suggesting that Greece may now be seriously considering following Italy’s lead in taking legal action to secure the return of artefacts – something that it has always tried to avoid in the past.

From:
People’s Daily (China)

Interview: Strong legal framework, int’l collaboration key in reclaiming antiquities: Greek expert
10:14, December 18, 2010

A strong legal framework and international collaboration are the main keys in efforts to reclaim antiquities with success, for Greece or China, stressed Greek expert Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki in an interview with Xinhua on Friday.

A country rich in cultural relics which due to historical and other reasons have been illegally transported abroad in many cases, Greece struggles for decades for their return back home.
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January 15, 2011

The agreement between Peru & Yale University for Inca Artefact return

Posted at 12:56 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the deal reached between the government of Peru & Yale University for the return of various artefacts from Machu Picchu.

From:
Realclearworld

December 08, 2010
Peru president says Yale to return Inca artifacts
Carla Salazar

Peru’s president announced Friday that Yale University has agreed to return thousands of artifacts taken away from the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu nearly a century ago.

The university issued a statement a few hours later expressing satisfaction at the results of its talks with Peru. The artifacts had been at the center of a bitter dispute for years, with Peru filing a lawsuit in U.S. court against the school.
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January 11, 2011

Italy to pursue stolen ancient helmet in German courts

Posted at 2:09 pm in Similar cases

Italy is demanding the return of an ancient Greek helmet that it believes was looted from an archaeological site in 1993. They are following their approach taken in many successful recent cases, by following up their requests with legal action.

From:
Earthtimes

Italy pursues ‘stolen’ early Greek helmet in German court
Posted : Wed, 08 Dec 2010 10:47:53 GMT

Berlin – The Italian government is going to court in Berlin this week to claim an early Greek metal helmet, which it claims was stolen from an archaeological site in Italy in 1993, a court spokesman said Wednesday.

Greek-speaking trading cities existed on southern Italy’s coasts in the 7th to 6th century BC when the helmet, distinctive for its geometric style of decoration with zigzags and concentric circles, was made.
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December 30, 2010

Austrian commission rules that Nazi looted art should be returned

Posted at 8:09 pm in Similar cases

An art commission set up by Austria’s Ministry of Culture has ruled that the country’s Leopold Museum should return seven Nazi looted paintings to their rightful owners.

From:
Bloomberg News

Nazi-Looted Art Should be Returned by Museum, Austrian Commission Rules
By Jonathan Tirone – Nov 24, 2010 10:06 AM GMT

Austria’s Leopold Museum should return seven Nazi-looted paintings by Egon Schiele and Anton Romako to their rightful owners, said an art commission set up by the country’s Ministry of Culture.

Five Schiele paintings and two Romako works should be returned, the ministry said yesterday on its website. The paintings had belonged to Maurice Eisler and Karl Maylaender, both Jews persecuted by Nazis, according to the commission. The decision is non-binding.
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December 13, 2010

Yale agrees to return Machu Picchu artefacts to Peru

Posted at 10:31 pm in Similar cases

After resorting to numerous ways to increase pressure on Yale University, it now looks as though Peru’s attempts to secure the return of artefacts may have been successful. It is worth bearing in mind though that agreements such as this can fall though for man reasons. Previously Yale agreed to return the same artefacts in 2007, but this never went ahead and the reasons given tend to vary depending on which side you speak to.

From:
Bloomberg News

Yale to Return Incan Artifacts Taken a Century Ago, Peru’s President Says
By John Quigley – Nov 20, 2010 5:15 PM GMT

Yale University, the third-oldest U.S. college, has agreed to return Incan artifacts taken from Peru a century ago, President Alan Garcia said.

Ernesto Zedillo, a Yale professor and a former Mexican president, promised yesterday to return the artifacts, which were excavated by archaeologist and Yale Professor Hiram Bingham from the Machu Picchu citadel in the southern Andes in 1912, Garcia said in statement dated yesterday and posted on the presidential website.
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November 22, 2010

Former Getty curator Marion True’s defence lawyer speaks out following the end of her trial

Posted at 10:46 pm in Similar cases

The fallout following the end of Marion True’s trial in Italy continues, with statements from her defence lawyer.

From:
The Art Newspaper

Marion True’s defence lawyer speaks out
As the case ends, True’s innocence is vigorously asserted
By Gareth Harris | Web only – Published online 4 Nov 10

“In the sense of trying to comprehend all that’s happened I am in shock. That it has been five years, with never the possibility of airing the defence—it was a very long time,” Marion True, former antiquities curator of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, told the New Yorker. Last month in Rome, she saw charges against her of conspiring to receive antiquities that had been illegally excavated and exported from Italy, dismissed. The case was closed after a marathon five-year trial because the statute of limitations had expired.

The trial began on 16 November 2005, following a ten-year investigation into her associations with co-defendants Swiss dealer Robert Hecht and art expert Giacomo Medici. The case was triggered in 1995 when Swiss and Italian authorities raided Medici’s Geneva store and found thousands of photographs and records which they claimed showed illegally excavated antiquities.
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Peru seeks help from Barack Obama in dispute with Yale over Inca artefacts

Posted at 2:14 pm in Similar cases

The latest stage in an escalating dispute between Peru & Yale University, over Inca treasures taken from Machu Picchu, is an official request by Peru’s president for Barack Obama to intervene.

From:
New York Times blogs

November 3, 2010, 5:21 pm
Peru Seeks Obama’s Help in Dispute With Yale
By RANDY KENNEDY

Escalating a war of words between his government and Yale University, President Alan García of Peru has made a formal request for President Obama’s intervention in a long-running dispute over the ownership of a large group of artifacts excavated in 1912 at Machu Picchu by a Yale explorer.

Peru has argued that the items were only lent to the university and should have been returned long ago. Yale has contended that it returned all borrowed objects in the 1920s, retaining only those to which it had full title. In 2007 the sides reached a tentative agreement that would have set up a long-term collaboration and granted title of the disputed antiquities to Peru while allowing a certain number to remain at Yale for study and display. But that deal fell apart in 2008, and Peru filed a civil suit in federal court in Connecticut.
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November 17, 2010

An interview with former Getty Curator Marion True following her trial in Italy

Posted at 11:08 pm in Similar cases

Following the End of Marion True’s trial in Italy, she is now able to speak freely about the case. What is revealed in this interview suggests that the trial was far more of a political exercise than it was one specifically aimed at her. It also suggests that the Getty was quick to distance itself from the whole thing & jumped at the opportunity to write things off as the actions of a single person – an approach that suggests a complete lack of accountability within the Museum in terms of due diligence when acquiring artefacts.

From:
The New Yorker

October 14, 2010
Marion True on her Trial and Ordeal
Posted by Hugh Eakin

On Wednesday morning, in a Roman courtroom, the long-running criminal case against the former Getty Museum curator Marion True was dismissed. In less than ten minutes of deliberation, judges approved a motion by True’s lawyers to stop the proceedings—which, as I described in The New Yorker back in 2007, concerned classical art of allegedly illicit Italian provenance acquired by the Getty Museum in the nineteen-seventies, eighties, and nineties—because the statute of limitations on all charges had expired.

It was a paradoxical end to a trial that has run for more than five years and has been a fulcrum of Italy’s efforts to reclaim major works from leading American collections. Since the trial began, no fewer than five museums—as well as several prominent collectors and dealers—have entered agreements to relinquish prize examples of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art to Italy. The American Association of Art Museum Directors has adopted strict new guidelines for acquiring antiquities (pdf), and many museums have all but given up on buying classical art.
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November 16, 2010

Former Getty Museum Curator Marion True’s trial in Italy comes to an end (but with no verdict)

Posted at 10:44 pm in Similar cases

The long running trial of former Getty Curator Marion True has continued on & off for a number of years. It has now come to an end – not because any verdict has been reached, but because of the statute of limitations on the laws under which she was being tried brought an automatic end to the proceedings.

So, we are none the wiser about whether or not the trial would have been successful for Italy in securing a conviction (or securing the return of artefacts). Now that the legal action is over & people are able to speak more freely though, hopefully more details of the case will be revealed.

From:
New York Times

Rome Trial of Ex-Getty Curator Ends
By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
Published: October 13, 2010

ROME — The case against Marion True, the former curator of antiquities at the J.Paul Getty Museum, ended abruptly on Wednesday, after a court here ruled that the statute of limitations on her alleged crimes — receiving artifacts stolen from Italy and conspiring to deal in them — had expired.

The trial had dragged on intermittently for five years. Numerous witnesses testified for the prosecution, which argued that Ms. True knowingly bought ancient artifacts of dubious provenance for the collection of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The trial was widely believed to be the first instance of a museum curator facing criminal charges for such alleged crimes.
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November 15, 2010

German court orders return of artefacts looted from churches in Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus

Posted at 2:20 pm in Similar cases

A court in Munich has ruled that various artefacts looted from churches & monasteries in Northern Cyprus should be returned, after they were found hidden in the false wall of an two apartments in 1997.

From:
Cyprus Mail

German court order return of stolen Cypriot treasures
By Natali Hami and George Psyllides Published on September 28, 2010

SCORES of valuable religious artefacts looted from churches in the Turkish-occupied north are a step closer to repatriation following the decision of a German court.

Last week, a court in Munich ordered the return of the artefacts stolen by Turkish national Aydin Dikmen, after the invasion of the island in 1974.
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