Getty to discuss return of artifacts

The director of the Getty Museum, Michael Brand, said yesterday he will recommend the return of some of the four ancient artifacts being claimed by Greece which local officials say were illegally smuggled out of the country. Brand and Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said in a joint statement after a meeting in Athens that the director would recommend to the Getty’s board of trustees the return of the antiquities. Ministry sources said that it is likely that there will be more than four antiquities returned to Greece within the next two to three months. The artifacts consist of a gold wreath, a 6th-century-BC marble kore (statue of a young woman), a votive relief and a funeral slab. «Once the requirements of the Ministry of Culture are met, a fruitful cooperation, which could include long-term loans, can begin,» the statement said. The Getty, among the richest art institutions in the world, has been embroiled in an art-smuggling scandal since Italian authorities charged its former curator, Marion True, with conspiring to receive stolen goods. True, who also faces a judicial investigation in Greece, will stand trial in Italy and has since resigned from the Getty in Los Angeles. Buoyed by the success of Italian authorities in reclaiming a number of antiquities from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Greece has been trying to convince the Getty to return the items it says have been stolen.