• Time ran out in the case against Marion True

    As previously reported here the trial against Marion True, former curator of antiquities at the Getty Museum ended on Wednesday, October 13. After five years, the True case, which would set a precedent for the prosecution of a museum curator for knowingly acquiring looted artifacts, ended on the grounds that the statute of limitations has expired.

    As quoted in the New York Times, Maxwell Anderson, the director of the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the former president of the Association of Art Museum Directors, said that True “sacrificed herself on behalf of other museum directors in America,” while Paolo Ferri, the now-retired prosecutor for the case, was quoted as saying “the trial had served as a signal to museums that buying objects without provenance had to end.” For more about this and other cases related to museum acquisitions, please visit SAFE’s web site here.

    Will the high visibility of this case alter museum acquisition practices? This much is certain: the case against the plunder of cultural heritage continues and has no statute of limitations.

    Photo: Steve Pyke in The New Yorker

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  • Egypt and China agree to cooperate on protection of cultural property

    Another indication that bilateral agreements prohibiting “export, import or transfer the ownership of cultural properties” is an effective solution to protecting cultural property is illustrated in the latest accord between China and Egypt. Both parties to the 1970 UNESCO Convention, China and Egypt “have suffered heavily from thefts, illegal excavating and trafficking of cultural heritages.” The agreement also allows each nation to seek the return of stolen cultural properties, according to this report from Xinhua.

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