10-25-11: The Ethics of Stolen Art
How should a museum react when it finds out that it received antiquities through stolen channels? In 2006, two investigative reporters for the Los Angeles Times were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for a series which exposed the murky world of stolen antiquities. They found that some of America’s most prestigious museums were involved in the black market for ancient art.
Their series concentrated on the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, California, but their investigation revealed that many museums were displaying invaluable ancient Greek and Italian art that had been stolen and illegally sold.
Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino wrote a book about the topic, called Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum. On Saturday afternoon at the Walters Art Museum, Tom Hall will moderate a panel on this topic — they’ll be among the guests.
Also, the Walters has provided us with their acquisitions process.