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Greeks demand return of antiquities from LA museum

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Los Angeles (dpa) - Greece has demanded the return of several antiquities from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, claiming they were looted from ancient Greek archeological sites, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The demands followed a similar move by Italian authorities for the restitution of 42 ancient objects after an internal investigation by Getty Museum lawyers showed that 84 objects in its antiquities collection likely came from illegal sources. These included 54 of the 104 ancient artworks that the Getty has identified as masterpieces.

Marion True, the Getty's former curator of antiquities, quit this month after she was charged by Italian authorities with conspiring to traffic in looted antiquities.

Her trial began in June and is scheduled to resume in November in Rome.

The pieces identified in the Greek demand included three artifacts purchased by the Getty in 1993 for over 5 million dollars: a gold funerary wreath, an inscribed tombstone and a marble torso of a young woman dating from around 400 BC. The fourth object that Greek officials are seeking to recover is an archaic votive relief bought in 1955 by J. Paul Getty himself.

The report said that before making the purchases in 1993, the museum had asked the Greek government if it had any information that might cause it to reconsider. When authorities did raise concerns, the museum ignored them, the report said.

Copyright 2005 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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