Art crime

Getty curator could escape charges on a technicality

Marion True faces charges of conspiring to receive illicitly excavated artefacts

Rome. The ongoing trial in Rome of former Getty antiquities curator, Marion True, took an unexpected turn in late October when Italy’s highest court, the Corte Costituzionale, approved the enactment of a law which extends the statute of limitations on certain offences. Ms True stands accused, with the American, Parisbased dealer, Robert Hecht of conspiring to receive illicitly excavated artefacts during her time as curator of the Getty from 1982 to 2005. But these offences now fall under the new statute of limitations and both Mr Hecht and Ms True are likely to escape charges. Only the offence of “associazione a delinquere” or criminal association, is unaffected by the revised statute of limitations. It is however, notoriously difficult to prove. The latest hearing in the case took place in Rome on 10 November. The next one is scheduled for 17 January.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 175 December 2006