Getty mu­seum or­dered to re­turn an­cient statue in tug-of-war with Italy

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

giv­ing up the fourth-cen­tury BC statue, be­lieved to have been cast by the Greek sculp­tor Lysip­pus.

The court in Rome up­held the rul­ing of a lower court in Pe­saro, in the Marche re­gion of cen­tral Italy, where the statue was found more than 50 years ago.

It is thought that a Ro­man ship was tak­ing the bronze from Greece to Italy when it sank, plung­ing it to the bot­tom of the sea.

‘‘We now hope that the US au­thor­i­ties will act as soon as pos­si­ble to favour the resti­tu­tion of the statue to Italy,’’ said Al­berto Bon­isoli, Italy’s cul­ture min­is­ter.

‘‘This ju­di­cial process has fi­nally ended and the right to re­cover an ex­tremely im­por­tant tes­ti­mony of our her­itage has been recog­nised. Let’s hope the statue can soon re­turn to be ad­mired in our mu­se­ums.’’ Italy and The Getty have been at odds over the bronze master­piece since the mu­seum bought it in 1977 for US$3.95 mil­lion from a Ger­man art dealer. Ital­ian au­thor­i­ties say the statue was il­le­gally taken out of the coun­try with­out an ex­port li­cense.

The Getty said it would con­tinue to de­fend its ‘‘le­gal right’’ to the statue.

– Tele­graph Group

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