Asking (politely) for the Fano Athlete

The Bronze Athlete

Governor Gian Mario Spacca, president of the region of Marche where this bronze athelete was brought ashore in 1964, visited Los Angeles to seek the return of the object. Catherine Sezgin reports on the visit for ARCA here and here.

The context for the visit is an ongoing seizure action in Italy which the Getty is appealing. Even if the appeals process runs its course, and the object is ordered returned, it appears unlikely that a U.S. court will enforce the seizure order.

And so into that context comes a friendly visit from Spacca saying, as reported by Jason Felch in the L.A. Times:

“We are not here to declare war on the Getty,” Spacca said in a statement to The Times. “We are here to resolve the dispute in a way that will benefit the museum, the people of Italy, and most important, art lovers around the world.” 

Getty spokesman Ron Hartwig described the meeting as “a good discussion” but said serious talks would be possible only after the court case ends and would need to involve the Italian Ministry of Culture. 

“We were clear at the start of our conversation that the statue of a “Victorious Youth,” known as the “Getty Bronze,” was not a matter for discussion since legal issues regarding this object are ongoing in Italy.”

  1. Jason Felch, Antiquities: Italian official seeks return of ‘Getty Bronze’, L.A. Times, March 27, 2011,,0,7566636.story (last visited Mar 29, 2011).
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