Five-year Trial of Marion True Ends

The Italian case against former Getty Museum antiquities curator Marion True, seen at the Los Angeles museum in 1998, has abruptly ended.
Marion True, while still at the Getty

Jason Felch reports today that the trial of ex-Getty Museum curator Marion True concluded with a “whimper” today.  That seems exactly right.  No verdict was reached, no dramatic finish, only the mundane operation of an Italian legal technicality which ended the trial because too much time had elapsed. 

Italy’s renewed focus in recent years on the flow of antiquities into American Museums has resulted in a number of embarrassing returns by American institutions, and no one exemplified that shaming more than Marion True, who would be photographed every time she entered the court.  This trial has been proceeding along in fits and starts for the last five years.  When she was charged, it was the first time an American Museum official was charged by a foreign government, but it has not been the last.  The trial was a lightening rod of sorts, channeling opinions about the antiquities trade and the American Museum community, all to one very high profile, but also very slow legal proceeding.  As Felch points out, during the 5 year legal proceeding we have seen the return of more than 100 looted or stolen antiquities from American museums to Italy.   

  1. Jason Felch, Charges dismissed against ex-Getty curator Marion True by Italian judge [updated] LA Times Culture Monster, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2010/10/charges-dismissed-against-getty-curator-marion-true-by-italian-judge.html (last visited Oct 13, 2010).
  2. Nadja Brandt, Italy Drops Conspiracy Charges Against Ex-Curator Marion True, Getty Says, Bloomberg, October 13, 2010, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-13/italy-drops-charges-against-ex-curator-marion-true-getty-says.html (last visited Oct 13, 2010).
  3. Elisabetta Povoledo, Case Involving Former Curator Marion True Ends, Arts Beat, New York Times, http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/13/case-involving-former-curator-marion-true-ends/ (last visited Oct 13, 2010).
Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

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