Date: c. 340–330 B.C.
Artist: Metope Group
Dimensions: Overall: 31 1/4 x 19 3/4 x 17 in. (79.38 x 50.17 x 43.18 cm)
Medium: Ceramic, pigment
Credit Line: Lent by the Republic of Italy
Object Number: 135.2012.2
Culture: Greece: Apulia
Deaccession Criteria: Restitution/Returned to rightful owner: the work has been legally requested for restitution.
Gianfranco Becchina is a Sicilian antiquities dealer who has been convicted in Italy of dealing in stolen antiquities. Becchina started dealing in antiquities from his premises in Basel, Switzerland, in the 1970s. In May 2002, the Carabinieri, in collaboration with the Swiss police, raided his storage facilities in Basel, recovering thousands of objects in various stages of restorations, photographs of artifacts, and other documents. In April 2012 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized two works that were associated with the investigation of Becchina. According to the Carabinieri, Gianfranco Becchina has been identified as one of the most prolific known traffickers of Italian cultural heritage, and all property that has been shown to have been illicitly trafficked by Becchina is subject to confiscation.
PURCHASE INFORMATION: Dealer: Sotheby’s New York (June 13, 1996)
PROPOSED METHOD OF DISPOSAL: Long-term loan to DMA, if approved by Italian government; eventual return to Italy
CRITERIA FOR DEACCESSIONING: A request from the Italian government for restitution, with compelling evidence, including photographs, that object was looted and/or illegally exported