Friday, January 07, 2011

"Neither condemned nor vindicated"

In a previous post last October, this blog reported on how a court in Rome had ruled that the statute of limitations had run on the two criminal charges brought against the former Getty Museum curator Marion True. While the proceedings were a vitally important wake-up call to those operating in the antiquities market, I personally found it exceedingly unfair that True should have been the one to pay the price for the widespread illicit practices so many were engaging in (also, from a legal perspective, the charges were inherently flawed as noted in the post linked above).

Now The Art Newspaper has published Marion True's own account of her trial or lack thereof. True opens up about why she chose not to waive the statute of limitations and wonders why the Italian government decided to mount such an aggressive attack on an institution and a curator with a purported long history of tightening antiquities acquisition policices. Admittedly, the whole affair was hugely politicised and the Italian authorities should probably have simply asked for the return of the disputed objects as Marion True argues. But if they'd done that then the problem of looting and trafficking in illicit antiquities would not have received the international media attention it desperately needed.

See also Paolo Giorgio Ferri, former prosecutor involved in True's case, on the "scourge of looting."

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