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Starred Review. In an authoritative account, two reporters who led a Los Angeles Times investigation, reveal the details of the Getty Museum's illicit purchases, from smugglers and fences, of looted Greek and Roman antiquities. In 2005, the Italians indicted former Getty curator Marion True for trafficking in looted antiquities, and by 2007, after protracted negotiations, the Getty agreed to return 40 of 46 artifacts demanded by the Italian government; Italy in turn agreed to loan the Getty comparable objects. One of the major pieces lost by the Getty was an Aphrodite statue purchased by True to put the Getty on the map. But still eluding the Italians is the Getty Bronze, a statue of an athlete hauled out of international waters in 1964 by Italian fishermen; it was the prized acquisition of the Getty's first antiquities curator, Jiri Frel, who brought thousands more looted antiquities into the museum through a tax-fraud scheme. The authors offer an excellent recap of the museum's misdeeds, brimming with tasty details of the scandal that motivated several of America's leading art museums to voluntarily return to Italy and Greece some 100 classical antiquities worth more than half a billion dollars. 8 pages of b&w photos. (May)
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"Chasing Aphrodite is an epic story that, from the first page, grabs you by the lapels and won’t let go. Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino have penetrated the inner sanctum of one of the world’s most powerful museums, exposing how its caretakers – blinded by greed, arrogance and self-deception – eagerly tapped international networks of criminals in pursuit of the next great masterpiece. It is a breathtaking tale that I guarantee will keep you reading late into the night. - Kurt Eichenwald, author of CONSPIRACY OF FOOLS: A True Story
Fascinating blow by blow of the misadventures at the Getty Museum, its poor management & how one curator ultimately took a dive for the affair. Read morePublished 1 month ago by dickh
love this type of mystery...brings history and human nature full circlePublished 3 months ago by happy feet
Fascinating history of the way museums have collected antiquities from other countries, and how they are currently being dealt with - some being returned, some 'repatriated' and on... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Katy Bejarano
Interesting reporting on the subject of preserving and studying the treasures of antiquityPublished 5 months ago by Ben
A very thoroughly researched and fascinating account of what otherwise could have been a rather dry account of museum dealings. Ancient Greece and, especially, Italy came to life. Read morePublished 6 months ago by nasus
Thoroughly engrossing book. It confirms what I recall hearing about from my connected museum people. Anyone interested in antiquities should read this book.Published 6 months ago by Joel H. Roth
The stories of illegally excavated art investigated in this book span decades of smuggling, legal battles, and near constant prevarication on the part of museums. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ava Lynn