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Getty artworks may be product of looting

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LOS ANGELES, Sep 25, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Half of all the masterpieces and antiques at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles may have come from looting.

Attorneys for the museum say half of their collection was purchased from dealers now under investigation for selling looted objects.

This came after Italian authorities identified looted material in the Getty collection.

The Los Angeles Times obtained records from the Getty museum, and found officials may have known as early as 1985 that their suppliers were selling looted objects.

The Italian government is seeking the return of 42 of the objects, but lawyers for the museum have identified 82 illegally purchased artworks. More than half of those are considered masterpieces.

A 5-foot marble statue of Apollo is among the masterpieces illegally purchased.

The former CEO of the Getty Trust, Harold Williams, and former museum director, John Walsh, says the museum never knowingly bought looted artwork.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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