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