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Archive for Tuesday, December 12, 2006

L.A.’s Getty Museum to return antiquities

December 12, 2006

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— The J. Paul Getty Museum on Monday settled a decade-old cultural heritage dispute with Greece, agreeing to hand over two ancient treasures that Athens claims were illegally spirited out of the country.

Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis and museum director Michael Brand said they had "reached an agreement in principle on the return" of a gold wreath and a marble bust. A formal agreement will be signed soon, they said in a joint announcement issued in Athens and Los Angeles, where the Getty Museum is located.

The deal comes as antiquities-rich Greece steps up its campaign to reclaim looted artifacts, thousands of which are prominently displayed in museums and collections worldwide.

Voulgarakis said the objects' return - which follows a demand first made in 1995 - would not stop a criminal investigation into the alleged theft of the wreath.

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