Getty will give Greece 2 treasures
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ATHENS, Greece – 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. 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. Last month, an Athens prosecutor brought charges against “persons unknown,” a blanket accusation allowing a magistrate to open a wide-ranging investigation to determine whether anyone should be brought to trial. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“Greek justice is independent” of government intervention, Voulgarakis said. The fourth century B.C. wreath is decorated with sprays of gold leaves and flowers inlaid with colored glass paste and – according to Greek authorities – was illegally excavated in the province of Macedonia. Designed as a burial gift, it was probably made shortly after the death of the Macedonian warrior-king Alexander the Great. The marble statue, which lacks its head, lower arms and legs, is of a young woman and is a type widespread in southern Greece and the Aegean Sea islands from the mid-seventh to the late sixth centuries B.C. In September, the Getty museum returned two ancient sculptures dating to the sixth and the fourth centuries B.C. to Greece, following pressure from Athens. These are on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Brand said the objects would be missed, but that the return promised a new relationship between the museum and the Greek government.