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Getty Museum reaches agreement to return looted Italy antiquities

[JURIST] Getty Museum [official website] Director Dr. Michael Brand and the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities Francesco Rutelli [official profile, in Italian] Wednesday announced an agreement to return 40 allegedly looted Italian artifacts [press release; list of objects, PDF] to Italy over the next several months. They also announced that Italy and the Getty Museum have agreed to a "broad cultural collaboration that will include loans of significant art works, joint exhibitions, research, and conservation projects."

Last November, Rutelli demanded that the Getty return all allegedly looted Italian antiquities [JURIST report] rather than just the 26 pieces the Getty had pledged to return [Getty press release]. The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities [official website] had threatened to suspend all Italian collaboration with the Getty if an agreement was not reached by August. The Getty has denied knowingly purchasing looted artifacts. Italian authorities have insisted that, pursuant to a 1939 Italian law, all archaeological artifacts excavated in Italy belongs to the Italian state, and that many items recovered in international waters were nevertheless exported illegally from Italy. AP has more

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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