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Getty Museum agrees to exchange with Greek government of antiquities, experts

Aerial view of the Getty Center in Brentwood, California.
J. Paul Getty Trust via Getty Images (Thumbnail credit: Chasing Aphrodite)
Aerial view of the Getty Center in Brentwood, California.

The Getty Museum will repatriate three ancient marble pieces to their ancestral homeland, Greece. That's one result of a new agreement the art institution and the Greek government announced Thursday.

The artifacts are two fragments from a grave marker and a slab with an inscription related to a religious festival. They date from the fifth century B.C.

Their return marks the resolution of a modern-day dispute over who can claim rightful ownership of antiquities. Cultural officials from Greece and Italy have tangled with the Getty over its acquisition of several prized pieces in recent years, and the art institution has returned some items to their home countries.

The parties have engaged in the art of diplomacy to work out cooperation between experts, efforts to stop the illegal trade in antiquities and exchanges that will allow the Getty and museums in the countries of origin to display significant works. Greece’s culture minister said in a statement that his country is discussing the loan of an ancient inscription to the Getty.