October 7, 2022

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BUT famous museum a set of antique sculptures that were “illegally” taken out of Italy will be returned to Los Angeles.

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The J. Paul Getty Museum has announced that it has teamed up with the Italian Ministry of Culture to arrange for the safe return of “Orpheus and the Sirens,” a collection of life-sized, three-piece terracotta sculptures dating from the fourth century BC.

The trio of sculptures are modeled after the mythical Greek poet Orpheus, who was carved in a sitting position, and two unnamed sirens standing upright.

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In a press release issued Thursday, August 11, the J. Paul Getty Museum announced that it removed sculptures out of public view after a “reliable” source notified him that the artwork was likely “stolen or illegally excavated”.

The museum has an established policy that allows it to return artifacts to their countries of origin or discovery if the items are found to have been illegally exported.

“Thanks to information provided by Matthew Bogdanos and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office of Antiquities Dealing with illegal excavations of Orpheus and the Sirens, we have determined that these objects should be returned,” said Getty Museum program directors Timothy Potts and Maria Hammer. —Tuttle and Robert Tuttle, in a joint statement.

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The museum added that it values ​​its “strong and fruitful relationship with the Italian Ministry of Culture”, as well as other relationships it maintains in the country among archaeological, conservation, curatorial and scientific groups.

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It is believed that the Orpheus and the Sirens sculpture was created sometime between 350 and 300 BC.

Considered a fragile work of art, it is made from terracotta, white calcium carbonate slip, and multicolored polychromes of orange gold, black, red, golden yellow, brown and pink.

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According to the 2008 Getty Color of Life exhibition, polychromy is an ancient painting technique that artists used to bring life to their creations through color variations.

The museum said they were preparing the sculpture for transport to romeand is expected to ship in September.

In addition to the sculptures, the Getty Museum is also returning four other artifacts to Italy, including the Etruscan bronze thymiatherion (350–325 BC), a marble-headed statue known as the “Colossal Head of a Deity” (2nd century AD) . a stone mold for casting pendants (2nd century AD) and a colorful oil-on-canvas painting by Camillo Miola called The Oracle of Delphi (1881).

It is reported that researchers from the Getty Museum and independent scholars decided that these works of art should be returned.

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The Italian Ministry of Culture will add the returned artifact to its collection.