Italy strengthens case for return of 'Victorious Youth' bronze from Getty Museum in heritage feud that has lasted decades

Jul 20, 2021 442


Italy’s senate passed a resolution last week which politicians claim will ultimately strengthen the government’s hand when battling complex restitution cases. Using the announcement as a platform, Massimo Seri, the mayor of Fano, renewed calls for the Getty Museum in Los Angeles to return the “Victorious Youth” (aka the “Atleta di Fano”), the 300-100 BC Greek bronze that is the object of Italy’s highest profile international heritage feud.

An unrelated government document published last year, which has been seen by The Art Newspaper, indicates that Italy’s culture ministry has effectively embargoed the American museum over the saga. However, asked by The Art Newspaper whether the Getty Museum intends to return the bronze, a museum spokesperson referred to a 2018 statement that declares: “We will continue to defend our legal right to the statue”.

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