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The statue of a charioteer, shown in London, is now on display at the Getty Villa. (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

When it began its tour at the J. Paul Getty Museum in April, “Sicily: Art and Invention Between Greece and Rome” was supposed to crown years of effort by some American museums to patch up relations with Italy over claims of looted antiquities.

Featuring dozens of antiquities from Sicilian collections, the exhibition at the Getty Villa in Malibu, Calif., was scheduled to go to the Cleveland Museum of Art this fall before a final showing in Palermo next winter.

But all has not gone smoothly.

Sicilian officials now say that two star attractions — a dramatic six-foot-tall statue of a charioteer and an immaculate gold libation bowl, or phiale — should not travel to Cleveland because their absence is depriving Sicily of tourist dollars. And in a letter sent to the Getty and Cleveland museums this week, Sicily’s highest cultural official, Mariarita Sgarlata, noted that the region — which enjoys broad autonomy from Rome to shape its cultural policy — never signed a contract authorizing the exhibition in the first place.

In fact, the items were shipped from Italy months ago while the contract was being negotiated by Sicilian cultural officials who are no longer in office.


Hugh Eakin

New York Times


They really know how to put on a show: PST opening celebrations at the Getty Center last year

Pacific Standard Time (PST), the Getty-funded collaboration of southern California’s institutions, is estimated to have added $280.5m to the local economy, according to an economic impact study released by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation today, 1 November. Published a little over a year after the art extravaganza opened, the study also found that museums and galleries taking part in PST spent a total of $29m during the six-month initiative, but this resulted in $111.5m in spending by the estimated 1.8 million visitors to all the exhibitions and events. Around 2,490 jobs were supported by the project, creating $101.3m in income and $19.4m in tax revenues to state and local governments.


Helen Stoilas
The Art Newspaper

(Photo: Getty Villa in Malibu. Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

The J. Paul Getty Museum said Wednesday that it is expanding its partnerships with various regions of Italy by embarking on a long-term cultural collaboration with Sicily.

The joint project will involve object conservation, earthquake protection of collections, exhibitions and more. The Getty said it will be working with the Sicilian Ministry of Culture and Sicilian Identity.

Currently, the Getty has partnerships with the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Florence and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples.

The collaborations are the result of a 2007 agreement between the Getty and the Italian Ministry of Culture. As part of that accord, the Getty agreed to transfer 40 objects to Italy in order to help bring to a close the protracted legal battle over disputed works of art.


David Ng
Los Angeles Times