Marion True, former Getty curator, trial collapses

Victims include prime minister’s father-in-law and an old master art dealer



The court case in Rome against Marion True, former curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and antiquities dealer Robert Hecht, is ending without a verdict because it has run out of time. A third party in the alleged conspiracy to acquire stolen goods, dealer Giacomo Medici—who elected for a fast-track trial—was found guilty, appealed and was sentenced to eight years and a fine of E10m.

The trial of True and Hecht began on 16 November 2005 and at the next sitting, in November, True’s defence lawyer will invoke the statute of limitations and ask for the case to be closed. The most recent offence of which True was accused—conspiracy to acquire stolen goods by acquiring the Fleischman collection for the museum—dates back to a period ending in April 2002, and so fell within the statute of limitations this April. In Italy, when a case runs out of time, the accused remain neither innocent nor guilty.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Former Getty curator trial collapses'