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Greece appeals court dismisses case against former Getty curator

[JURIST] A Greek appeals court Tuesday dismissed criminal charges against former Getty Museum [museum website] curator Marion True for her alleged involvement in the looting of an ancient gold wreath from Greece. The Los Angeles museum acquired the wreath in 1993, and Greek prosecutors brought charges against True alleging that the artifact had been illegally removed from the country. Under Greek law, courts must apply the statute of limitations of the jurisdiction where the acquisition of an artifact was made known, and California law sets a three-year limit on claims for stolen artifacts. True still faces criminal charges in Greece related to unregistered artifacts found in her summer home in Greece.

In September, the Getty Museum signed an agreement [JURIST report] with the Italian ministry of Culture Heritage and Activities [official website] to return 40 allegedly looted Italian artifacts [list of objects, PDF] in exchange for the dropping of a civil lawsuit against True. The agreement was initially announced [JURIST report] in August, after the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities threatened to suspend all Italian collaboration with the Getty. Italy first demanded that the Getty return all antiquities alleged to have been looted [JURIST report] last year, insisting 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. The New York Times has more.

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