Cleveland Museum answered for «hash up» purchases

Statue of Apollo Saurokton. Praxiteles. 4thC BC. Bronze. Cleveland Museum, USA

As a result of long negotiations the Cleveland museum (Ohio, the USA) gave in to demand of the ministry of culture of Italy and agreed to return the country 14 exhibits – 13 relics of classical antiquity and the valuable gold cross dated to the epoch of Early Renaissance. This decision became the fifth victory of Italy for three years of operating of the program on returning to the country of cultural values which were exported from its territory illegally.

All the objects under repatriation got to the museum collection on legal grounds. However they are of criminal origin. The valuable ceremonial cross made in about 1350 is the property of church located near Siena where it was stored prior to the beginning of 1970s. In 1977 the Cleveland Museum bought it from the German dealer.

Besides the cross, the Cleveland Museum agreed to return Italy 13 antique artefacts including a crater from Apulia dated to 4th century BC and a bronze statue of the soldier from Sardinia Island. All these objects were bought in 1970 − 1980s. Some of them were gifts. All 14 exhibits will be sent home within three next months. In exchange the ministry of culture of Italy promises to give similar objects to Cleveland Museum and to promote in the organization of exchange exhibitions and cultural projects.

In spite of the fact that Italy reached considerable successes in business on returning of cultural values the dialogue with the Cleveland Museum is opened. In the near future the parties plan to discuss the issue on returning of two more exhibits – chariots with the image of the goddess of victory Nika and Apollo’s bronze statue attributed to great Ancient Greek sculptor Praxiteles.

Apollo’s statue was purchased by the museum in 2004 in one of the Swiss galleries. “Greeks paid off their own old scores with Louvre ”,- Timothy Rub, Director of Cleveland Museum comments. “The sculpture will be thoroughly examined and only the experts’ decision will settle the question of its provenance”

We will remind that from 2006 Italy achieved the restitution of the whole series of cultural values from the collection of the largest museums of the USA among which are Metropolitan Museum and Getty Museum.

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Published in: on January 19, 2009 at 11:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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