Statute of limitations expires in case against former Getty Museum curator

Getty Center
Getty Center Hishaam Siddiqi/Flickr

The case against a former curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum has ended in Rome. Prosecutors simply ran out of time.

Italian prosecutors accused antiquities curator Marion True of knowingly acquiring looted art from Italy. The case involved 35 artifacts, including Etruscan bronze pieces and frescoes the Getty acquired between 1986 and the late 1990s. It highlighted Italy’s push to get back its ancient art – and sparked a hard look at how American museums collect it.

Three years ago, the Getty returned 40 artifacts to the Italian Culture Ministry. But after six years in the Italian legal system, the case against Marion True has become an artifact itself. A three-judge panel said the statute of limitations has expired.

True resigned from the Getty five years ago – not because of Italy’s accusation, but because Getty officials said she’d violated a museum policy by failing to report the details of her purchase of a vacation home on a Greek island.

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