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Getty Museum signs agreement to return looted Italy antiquities

[JURIST] The Getty Museum [official website] Tuesday signed [press release] a formal agreement with the Italian Ministry of Culture Heritage and Activities [official website] to return 40 allegedly looted Italian artifacts [list of objects, PDF] to Italy over the next several months. In exchange, Italian officials agreed to drop a civil lawsuit against former Getty Museum curator Marion True. Criminal charges against her, which allege she knowingly acquired illegally obtained and smuggled artifacts, will proceed. True has denied the allegations, as have Getty officials.

The agreement was initially announced [JURIST report] last month, after the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities threatened to suspend all Italian collaboration with the Getty if an agreement was not reached by August. Italian authorities have insisted that, pursuant to a 1939 Italian law, all archaeological artifacts excavated in Italy belong to the Italian state, and that many items recovered in international waters were nevertheless exported illegally from Italy. Italy first demanded [JURIST report] last year that the Getty return all antiquities alleged to have been looted. 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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