October 3, 2005
LOS ANGELES—The Getty has offered to return three objects to the Italian government, and the Italian government has accepted the Getty’s offer. Based on public statements of Italian officials, the Getty expects the returns to be effected in the near future. Only one of the objects was the subject of a formal complaint by the Italian government.
In April 2004, at the request of the Italian Government, the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California filed a forfeiture complaint against the Getty in the United States District Court. The forfeiture complaint related to an object in the Museum's Antiquities collection, an ancient Greek krater, or jar, believed to have been painted by Asteas. The complaint alleged that the Asteas krater is stolen property belonging to the Republic of Italy solely because it was allegedly illegally excavated and exported from Italy.
Although the Getty believes that it had valid defenses to the claims asserted in the petition, it reached an agreement with the Italian authorities to return the Asteas krater in the interests of settling the litigation and demonstrating the Getty’s interest in a productive relationship with Italy. The Getty based its decision to offer to return the other two objects –a bronze Etruscan candelabrum and stone inscription – on its own evaluation of evidence presented by the Italian government.
On September 2, 2005, the Getty agreed to a consent judgment on the forfeiture complaint, in which the court made no finding regarding liability, but acknowledged the Getty's agreement to return the Asteas krater.
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Getty Communications Department
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