J Paul Getty Museum Returns to Italy (2005)

Last Modified: 21 Aug 2012

Also known as: Getty Museum Returns to Italy (2005)

Asteas krater

The J. Paul Getty Museum returned three objects to Italy in 2005 that were stolen or illegally exported.

On 7 November 2005, responding to approaches made by the Italian Ministry of Culture, the J. Paul Getty Museum agreed to return three objects to Italy (Getty 2005):

Paestan red-figure calyx krater, painted and signed by Asteas (81.AE.78). A photograph of this piece was discovered in 1994 in the glove compartment of a crashed car belonging to Italian customs officer and dealer Pasquale Camera, who was killed in the crash (Watson and Todeschini 2007: 10-15, 290). The krater had been discovered by a labourer working on a canal in the 1970s, traded to a smuggler for a pig, bought by dealer Gianfranco Becchina and sold to the Getty in 1981 for $275,000 (Slayman 2006; Godart and De Caro 2008: 176 no. 47).

Stone stela with Greek funerary inscription. Said to be from Selinunte in Sicily.

Etruscan candelabrum (90.AC.17). Stolen from the Guglielmi Collection and sold to the Getty in 1990 by Atlantis Antiquities (proprietors Robert Hecht and Jonathan Rosen) for $65,000 (Watson and Todeschini 2007: 84-7). Marion True had first seen this candelabrum together with its companion tripod in 1987 in the possession of Giacomo Medici and Robert Hecht (Felch and Frammolino 2011: 153).


Felch, Jason and Frammolino, Ralph (2011), Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Getty (2005), ‘Statement regarding returned objects from the Getty’, press release, 3 October. http://www.getty.edu/news/press/center/statement05_getty_returns_objects110705.html, accessed 26 July 2012.

Godart, Louis and De Caro, Stephano (2008), Nostoi. Capolavori Ritrovati (Rome: Segretariato Generale della Presidenza della Repubblica).

Slayman, Andrew (2006), ‘The trial in Rome’, Archaeology online, 6 February. http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/italytrial/, accessed 26 July 2012.

Watson, Peter and Todeschini, Cecilia (2007), The Medici Conspiracy (New York: PublicAffairs).