Getty Had Signs It Was Acquiring Possibly Looted Art, Documents Show
Attorneys for the J. Paul Getty Museum have determined that half the masterpieces in its antiquities collection were purchased from dealers now under investigation for allegedly selling artifacts looted from ruins in Italy.
Italian authorities have identified dozens of objects in the Getty collection as looted, including ancient urns, vases and a 5-foot marble statue of Apollo.
The Italians have Polaroid photographs seized from a dealer's warehouse in Switzerland that show Getty artifacts in an unrestored state, some encrusted with dirt — soon after they were dug from the ground, Italians officials say.
In response to the Italian investigation, Getty lawyers combed through the museum's files and questioned staff members over several months in 2001, trying to assess the legal exposure of the world's richest art institution.
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