A US museum has vowed to fight a decision by Italy’s highest court which this week ordered that a prized bronze statue at the center of an epic legal dispute be returned to Italy.
In a statement, the J. Paul Getty Museum said the more than 2,000-year-old statue named “Victorious Youth” was found in international waters in 1964 and was legally purchased by the museum in 1977.
“We will continue to defend our legal right to the statue,” Lisa Lapin, vice president for communications at the Getty Trust, said in a statement issued on Monday.
“The law and facts in this case do not warrant restitution to the Italian government of a statue that has been on public display in Los Angeles for nearly a half century.”
She added that any forfeiture order “is contrary to American and International law.”
The decision handed down on Monday by Italy’s supreme court came after a decade-long legal battle over the sculpture, also known as the Getty Bronze or by the name of its presumed sculptor Lysippos, one of the most prized antiquities on display at the Getty Villa, located on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
“Now we hope the US authorities will act as soon as possible to favor restitution of the Lysippos to Italy,” Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli told the ANSA news agency following the court’s decision.
– ‘Final word from Italy’ –
The Getty, however, said it was not ready to surrender the relic.
Lapin said the museum had extensively researched the origins of the prized statue before purchasing it from an antiques dealer in Germany for $3.95 million, years after Italy’s highest court had concluded there was no evidence the object belonged to Italy.
“The statue is not and has never been part of Italy’s cultural heritage,” Lapin said. “Accidental discovery by Italian citizens does not make the statue an Italian object.
“Found outside the territory of any modern state, and immersed in the sea for two millennia, the Bronze has only a fleeting and incidental connection with Italy.”
Italian officials dispute Getty’s arguments and maintain that the life-size statue was found off Italy’s Adriatic coast by Italian fishermen and as such rightfully belongs to the state.
They say the statue was sold to an Italian art dealer after its discovery and was subsequently sold several times before it was smuggled illegally out of the country and eventually purchased by the Getty.
Last June, a judge in Pesaro, a coastal town on the Adriatic Coast, ruled that the statue be confiscated. The Getty museum had appealed the decision and Italy’s supreme court rejected the appeal on Monday.
Pesaro prosecutor Silvia Cecchi told local media that the court’s decision “was the final word from the Italian justice” system and that the statue must be returned.
“It must be very clear that the order is effective immediately and we will apply this principle by notifying the American authorities,” Cecchi said.
In 2007, following long negotiations, The Getty agreed to return more than 40 works of art to Italy after questions were raised about their provenance.
Black Georgia lawmaker accuses white man of demanding she ‘go back where she came from’ in supermarket diatribe
On Friday evening, Erica Thomas, and African-American Democratic lawmaker in the Georgia House of Representatives, was shopping at a Publix supermarket in Mableton when a white customer came up to her and shouted at her, telling her to "go back where you came from" — words echoing President Donald Trump's recent racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color.
Thomas' crime? She had too many items for the express checkout line.
Today I was verbally assaulted in the grocery store by a white man who told me I was a lazy SOB and to go back to where I came from bc I had to many items in the express lane. My husband wasn’t there to defend me because he is on Active Duty serving the country I came from USA!
Trump offers to guarantee bail for rapper A$AP Rocky
US President Donald Trump offered Saturday to guarantee the bail of rapper ASAP Rocky, detained in Sweden on suspicion of assault following a street brawl.
Trump tweeted that he had spoken with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who he said gave assurances that the singer would be treated fairly.
"Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative," Trump wrote.
There is no system of bail in Sweden.
Trump said he and Lofven had agreed to speak again over the next 48 hours.
Fans, fellow artists and US Congress members have campaigned for the 30-year-old artist, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, to be freed since his arrest on July 3 following the fight on June 30.
The best Civil War movie ever made finally gets its due
On Sunday and on July 24, Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events are presenting big-screen showings in theaters nationwide of “Glory,” in honor of the 30-year anniversary of its release. The greatest movie ever made about the American Civil War, “Glory” was the first and, with the exception of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” the only film that eschewed romanticism to reveal what the war was really about.
The story is told through the eyes of one of the first regiments of African American soldiers. Almost from the time the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, S.C., the issue of black soldiers in the Union army was hotly debated. On Jan. 1, 1863, as the country faced the third year of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, rapidly accelerating the process of putting black men into federal blue.