DIRECTOR, J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM
April 4, 2007
LOS ANGELES—This statement was read on behalf of Dr. Brand by Dr. Dietrich Willers of the Institute for Classical Archaeology at the University of Bern, Switzerland, at an event today at the Swiss Embassy in Rome celebrating the publication of a second volume of research on Francavilla Marittima, an important archaeological site in South Italy:
I apologize for not being able to attend today’s event announcing the publication of the second volume of research to result from the Francavilla Marittima project. The J. Paul Getty Museum has been pleased to be part of this important effort, which has included participants from Groningen University in Holland, the Institute for Classical Archaeology at the University of Bern, Switzerland, the National Archaeological Museum of Sibaritide in Calabria, Italy, and the Getty. This partnership, designed to discover information about the origins of objects from antiquity, demonstrates the good that can come from collaborative international scientific research based solely on the pursuit of knowledge.
The Francavilla Marittima project grew out of an effort initiated in 1993 by Dr. Marion True, then the Getty's Curator of Antiquities, when Dutch archaeologist Marianne Kleibrink notified Dr. True that some of the terracottas in the Getty's collection, which had been donated to the Museum in the late 1970s, may have come from Francavilla Marittima, an important Greek colony in South Italy that was under excavation. Dr. Kleibrink also identified similar objects in a collection at the Institute for Classical Archaeology in Bern, Switzerland.
Working collaboratively, the Getty and the Institute contacted the Italian Ministry of Culture in 1994. This led to a decision in 1996, at a meeting in Rome, that an international team of scholars research and document the collection, and then return the objects to Italy.
The goal of this project from the start was to repatriate the objects to Italy following a period of research and documentation and I'm pleased we played a part in this important international effort. We look forward to working with our colleagues on the preparation of the third and last volume.
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