Say YES to Turkey?

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Recently, the government of Turkey requested the return of dozens of allegedly looted antiquities from American museums. The items being sought currently reside in museums all over the country, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Bowling Green State University, the Dumbarton Oaks Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Cleveland Museum of Art. You can view … Read More

WikiLoot – An Invitation to Everyone to Join the Hunt for Looted Antiquities

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Bonhams lot 137-3 from Looting Matters

Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino, authors of Chasing Aphrodite and our most recent Beacon Award winners, are developing a powerful new tool in the fight against the illicit antiquities trade, WikiLoot.  Read all about it on their blog, Chasing Aphrodite. This is a breakthrough project for at least a few reasons. First, WikiLoot would bring out in the open information … Read More

Robert Hecht’s next step: publish his “memoir”?

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Now that the case against the 92-year old antiquities dealer Robert Hecht Jr. ended on the grounds that the statute of limitations has expired (Marion True’s case was similarly dismissed), will “the book about the antiquities underworld” that Hecht authored (see Peter Watson and Cecilia Todeschini, The Medici Conspiracy, pp. 160-179 which include excerpts from the manuscript) finally see the … Read More

“Chasing Aphrodite” Fall Book Tour comes to NYC

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The 2011 SAFE Beacon Award Winners are busy traveling the East Coast this fall discussing their book, Chasing Aphrodite. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet Jason Felch this October in New York City. Lecture and Book Signing October 24, 6 pm Silver Center Room 300 Washington Square East New York University “Jason Felch will give a presentation about … Read More

Made whole, the “Weary Herakles” reunites in Turkey

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At last, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts has returned the top half of the “Weary Herakles” to Turkey, as previously suggested here. The agreement to transfer ownership of the statue was signed on September 23, between the Museum and the General Directorate for Cultural Heritage and Museums of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey. … Read More

And the SAFE Beacon Award Winners are…

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2011: Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino – SAFE honors investigative journalists and co-authors of Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum (read Professor Senta German’s review here) for assembling “an extraordinary array of sources with which they tell a story the Getty wants no one to know” and for educating the public about how museum … Read More

Colin Renfrew on unprovenanced antiquities: challenges, scandals and responsibilities

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In less than 18 minutes, Professor Colin Renfrew covers a lot of ground and an array of issues in the 2008 video “The issue of unprovenanced antiquities” here (Part 1) and here (Part 2). It’s a summary of the issues SAFE addresses, well worth viewing. Beginning with how he came around to take a “purist position” against publishing unprovenanced material, … Read More

“She is the property of Italy…and they have every right in the world to put her in that museum. It feels right to have her there.”


Senta German interviews Ralph Frammolino, co-author with Jason Felch of the recently published Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum in the latest installment of SAFE podcasts. Professor German had recently reviewed the book on SAFECORNER. The topic has also been discussed here. In this clip, Frammolino recalls the ceremony unveiling the statue’s recent return to … Read More

Aphrodite of the Muckrakers

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Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum is the story of how the J. P. Getty Museum has collected Greek and Roman antiquities since its inception in 1953, told from the inside out. The authors, Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino, both reporters from the Los Angeles Times (Frammolino has since moved on), have assembled an … Read More