True Story: Charges Against Ex-Getty Curator Are Dropped
Published October 13, 2010
THE GETTY MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES.
Marion True, the ex-antiquities curator of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, can finally exhale. Five years after she was indicted for conspiring to traffic in stolen antiquities, her case has been dismissed by a Roman judge, who ruled that the statute of limitations on the charges had expired. True’s co-defendant, Giacomo Medici, wasn’t so lucky: he was convicted, a decision that has been upheld in appeals twice. Robert Hecht, the alleged head of the conspiracy, is still on trial.
In September 1995, a raid on Medici’s free-port warehouse in Switzerland turned up antiquities, photographs of illegally-obtained objects, and records of deals with looters. True, who dealt with Medici and Hecht, acquired antiquities while a curator at the Getty that had less-than-honest provenances—including a famous statue supposedly of Aphrodite [LEFT]. True’s indictment in 2005 marked the beginning of a wave of crackdowns on looted art-American museums have returned more than 100 antiquities to Italy since, and the association of American art museum directors has changed its acquisition policy to disallow for acquisitions without a clear ownership history. True’s attorney, Francesco Isolabella, maintained after the ruling that his client is innocent.