Legal fight for Getty artifacts

The government yesterday decided to launch legal proceedings against the Getty Museum in Los Angeles in a bid to secure the return of four artifacts the US museum allegedly smuggled out of the country. «We have examined all the issues in relation to this case and orders have been given to immediately start the procedure to obtain the four ancient artifacts via legal procedures,» the Culture Ministry said in a statement. The Los Angeles Times reported last month that Greek authorities were seeking the return of a gold funerary wreath, an inscribed tombstone, a marble torso of a young woman and an archaic votive relief, all dating from the fourth century BC. Sources said that Greece had opted to use diplomatic channels until now to secure the return of the objects. US museums’ policies of acquiring ancient artifacts have come under scrutiny after Italian authorities accused the Getty’s former curator of antiquities, Marion True, of receiving stolen antiquities from Italy. She is currently on trial in Rome.

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