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Italy to get antiquities back

Aug. 1, 2007 at 6:54 PM   |   Comments

MALIBU, Calif., Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The goddess Aphrodite and the god Apollo will be heading home to Italy soon -- well, at least statues of them, that is.

In a breakthrough draft agreement reached Tuesday night, the J. Paul Getty Museum near Malibu, Calif., is expected to return the statues along with dozens of other antiquities, including several masterpieces, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

In addition to the repatriation of about 40 pieces Italy has sought for years, the agreement sets up various art exchanges and heads off a threatened cultural embargo against the Getty museum, the newspaper said.

The Getty's not alone in giving up key portions of its collection. Earlier, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts agreed to return artwork spirited out of Italy over the years.

"I think there's sadness, obviously, over the fact that many of the beautiful objects are going to be leaving the Getty Villa," said Getty spokesman Ron Hartwig. "But there's satisfaction that the issue has been resolved in a way that leads to a renewed collaboration with Italy. It does signal a finish of a period of trouble."

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