Several Museums May Possess Looted Art





Italian authorities have identified more than 100 allegedly looted antiquities at six leading museums in the United States as well as galleries, private collections and museums in Europe and Asia.

According to Italian court records, prosecutors have used a trove of captured Polaroid photographs to trace objects to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Toledo Museum of Art and Princeton University Art Museum, in addition to the J. Paul Getty Museum and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Polaroids, seized in a 1995 raid at the warehouse of antiquities dealer Giacomo Medici, show antiquities in pieces, encrusted with dirt and unrestored — proof, the Italians say, that they had been excavated recently, and therefore illegally. Medici was convicted last year in Rome of trafficking in looted art.

The photographs formed the core of Italy's case against Medici and will be used in this month's trial of his two co-defendants, American art dealer Robert E. Hecht Jr. and former J. Paul Getty Museum antiquities curator Marion True.



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