Robert Hecht dies, aged 92
The former antiquities dealer was involved in some controversial sales to US museums
By The Art Newspaper. Web only
Published online: 09 February 2012
The former antiquities dealer, Robert Hecht, whose trial in Italy ended in January without a verdict, died today in his home in Paris, aged 92. Hecht was accused of conspiring to receive antiquities illegally excavated and exported from Italy, along with the former Getty curator Marion True and the Italian dealer Giacomo Medici. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times by phone after his trial ended when the statute of limitations ran out, Hecht “sounded frail but characteristically coy about the source of his remarkable inventory of ancient vases, statues and frescoes, which now reside in museums around the globe. ‘I have no idea of where an object was excavated,’ he said. ‘It could have been excavated 100 years ago; it could have been excavated an hour ago.’” The high-profile trials led to US museums creating a stricter set of guidelines for acquiring ancient objects, and prompted the return of dozens of works to Italy, including pieces from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
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