Sicilian artefacts will come to Cleveland after all
Deal brokered with the Italian regional authorities includes a reciprocal show of Old Master paintings travelling to Sicily in 2015
By Helen Stoilas. Web only
Published online: 23 August 2013
An exhibition of Sicilian antiquities is back on the calendar at the Cleveland Museum of Art, after an agreement was finally reached between the regional government of Sicily, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles (where the show first opened) and the Cleveland museum. In return for allowing the objects to travel to Cleveland—including two key works, the six-foot-tall Mozia Charioteer and a golden libation bowl known as the Phiale Mesomphalos—the American museum is planning to send some its Old Master paintings to Sicily in 2015. “Our discussions with the government of Sicily resulted in a very favorable agreement that will benefit both the museum and the Sicilian public,” said the Cleveland museum’s director David Franklin, in a statement. “Our hope is that this exhibition and the reciprocal exhibition in Sicily of several masterworks from our collection of Italian paintings, including Caravaggio’s Crucifixion of Saint Andrew, will be just the beginning of a period of long term cultural cooperation with Sicily,” he added.
The show “Sicily: Art and Invention Between Greece and Rome” was co-organised with the Getty museum, where it was on view until 19 August. But officials in Sicily complained that the absence of the charioteer and the golden phiale was hurting the island’s tourism. When the Italian authorities demanded a steeper fee to send the works to Ohio (an additional $700,000 than what was originally agreed, according to the Los Angeles Times), the Cleveland museum cancelled the show, but following the new agreement, it will open as planned on 29 September and run through to 5 January 2014. The show includes more than 150 objects dating from the fifth to third centuries BC, when Sicily was a strategically important and prosperous territory for both the Greek and Roman empires.
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