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J. Paul Getty Trust Names New Home for Object ID

September 24, 1999

LOS ANGELES--The J. Paul Getty Trust announced today that the Council for the Prevention of Art Theft (CoPAT) will become the new home for Object ID, the international standard for describing art, antiques, and antiquities. The Getty Grant Program has awarded $90,000 to CoPAT, which will become the collaborative project’s new center of operations.

The Getty initiated Object ID in 1993. The standard has since been adopted by major law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Scotland Yard, and Interpol; major museum, cultural heritage, art trade, and art appraisal organizations; and insurers. Having established the descriptive standard, the Object ID project now helps combat art theft by encouraging use of the standard in both private and public ownership and by bringing together organizations around the world that can encourage its implementation.

CoPAT was established in 1992 and is now a registered charity in the United Kingdom with the mission to promote crime prevention in the fields of art, antiques, antiquities, and architecture. With members drawn from law enforcement, the crime prevention field, heritage organizations, historic house owners, the insurance industry, and the art trade, CoPAT has participated in the project since its early stages and has played a significant role in the development of the standard. As one of the first organizations to formally endorse Object ID, CoPAT has contributed to its widespread international acceptance.

Welcoming the announcement, CoPAT Chairman Mark Dalrymple said, "CoPAT is delighted the Getty believes our organization to be the best home for Object ID. It fits very well with our current program and we will actively promote the use of the standard at both national and international levels."

"The Object ID standard fits on just one small piece of paper, but it represents something important-the establishment of common ground between organizations around the world. It can help lay the foundations for effective collaboration to protect our cultural heritage," said Getty Grant Program Director Deborah Marrow.

To encourage the use of Object ID, the Getty has recently published a manual, Introduction to Object ID: Guidelines for Making Records that Describe Art, Antiques, and Antiquities. The book summarizes the evolution of Object ID, explains its descriptive categories, and provides guidance on its use. The manual also includes guidelines for photographing cultural objects for identification purposes, including advice on choosing viewpoints, selecting backgrounds, and positioning lighting. To order the paperback book (ISBN 0-89236-572-2, $11.95), contact Getty Trust Publications at 800-223-3431 or 310-440-7333 (outside North America). The book is also available in the Museum bookstore or via the Internet at

For information about Object ID, contact:
Robin Thornes, Chief Executive Officer
Council for the Prevention of Art Theft
Estate Office
Stourhead Park
Stourton, Warminster
Wiltshire BA12 6QD, United Kingdom
44 (0)1747 841 540 (tel/fax)

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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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