Yefrony. Krater “Sarpedon’s death”. 5C. B.C. Metropolitan Museum, New York

Metropolitan Museum in New York (Metropolitan Museum in New York) and Mrs. Shelby White who is known as a collector of works of art of ancient Rome and ancient Greece in the USA decided to return antique works from their sets to Italian authorities.

Metropolitan Museum has already passed a vase (5c. B.C.) with pictures on a subject of “Odyssey” and “Iliad” defined as a work of ancient vase painter and potter Yefrony. Metropolitan purchased it from art dealer Robert Hecht (Robert Hecht) who was suspected by Italian law enforcement agencies in relations with “black” archeologists” who were realizing illegal digs on the territory of the country. According to the announcement of Italian authorities the given work was found at this very digs. It is a fact that the museum bought the vase for $ 1 000 000 in 1972.

Shelby White also announced about her intention to pass ten works of ancient art to Italy. At the present time nine of them have been passed to attaché of culture of Italian Embassy in the USA. It is supposed that the tenth item a vase of the V c. B.C. was made by Yefrony also and is planned to be sent to Italy in 2010.

Shelby White and her deceased husband Leon Levy (Leon Levy) bought these works some years ago from British art dealer Robin Symes (Robin Symes) who was serving in prison for pilferage operations. White and Levy were always eager to give their items from their collection in long lease to museums. Particularly, there is a special hall with their works in Metropolitan. White has become a first one among the owners of large private collections of antiques who decided to return valuable works. Previously some big American museums agreed to pass their rarities from their collections. They got equal items from Italian colleges as compensation for returned works.

Greece government (in 1932) and Italian one (in 1939) passed laws which forbade export of any works of art from these countries without the sanction. This legislation was toughened after the WW II. In 1970 a special UNESCO convention concerning protection of monuments was passed. In 1983 The USA joint to it.

Culture heritage protection legislation does not forbid the export of archeological finds if there is a permission of Ministry of Cultural Affairs or identical body. Though it is clear that officials always forbid the export of valuable work of art from the country in practice. Legal enlargement of museum collections can be realized through purchase of works at auctions, from private persons or organizations. Surely museums’ exchanges took place and are of current importance when one Institute passes another the artifacts for temporal use.

Published in: on February 5, 2008 at 12:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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