The J. Paul Getty Museum's new director, Michael Brand, will hold talks in Rome tomorrow with Italian Culture Ministry officials who are demanding the world's richest art institution return 42 allegedly looted antiquities in its collection, ministry lawyer Maurizio Fiorilli said.
The meeting will take place the day before the Getty reopens its Roman-style villa in Malibu, California, after a nine-year, $275 million renovation. The museum's former antiquities curator, Marion True, 57, is on trial in Rome on charges she acquired illegally excavated ancient art for the Getty.
Brand, who was named to the post last year as the Getty began an internal review of its antiquities-acquisition practices, will lead a delegation at the meeting, said Fiorilli, who said there is no room for compromise.
``They should return all the objects,'' he said, including 2,500-year-old vases and marble statues. ``The new director is taking a good initiative.''
True, who denies the charges against her, says she acquired the objects in good faith. True obtained many of the disputed objects for the Getty in 1996 in a combined sale and gift by New York collectors Barbara Fleischman and her late husband, Lawrence.
Barbara Fleischman resigned from the Getty board yesterday, the Associated Press and Los Angeles Times reported today. Fleischman, who joined the board in 2000, didn't respond to earlier requests for comment on her collection and the Getty.
Neither the museum nor Fleischman is charged with any wrongdoing. Getty officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment on the Rome meeting.
... the rest of the article repeats stuff we already know.