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Press release


(NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 21, 2006)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art today signed an agreement in Rome that formalizes the transfer of title to six antiquities—including a group of 16 Hellenistic silver pieces—to Italy.

In exchange, the Italian Culture Ministry has officially agreed that the Metropolitan may keep on view the 2,500-year-old Attic krater by the potter Euxitheos and the painter Euphronios until January 2008, some nine months after the scheduled April 2007 opening of the Museum's new galleries for Etruscan, Hellenistic, and Roman art. The collection of Hellenistic silver will remain at the Metropolitan until 2010 in a newly designed treasury.

The remaining objects—which, as in the case of the krater and silver, the agreement stipulates were acquired by the Museum in good faith—will be returned to Italy as expeditiously as possible. The Ministry has agreed to provide the Metropolitan with long-term future loans—of up to four years each, as Italian law allows—of works of art of equivalent beauty and importance to the objects being returned. The loans will be chosen from a list of objects submitted by the Metropolitan or by others, with joint approval.

The agreement was signed today by Philippe de Montebello, Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and, for Italy: Giuseppe Proietti, representing the Ministry of Culture; Francesco Sicilia, also representing the ministry; and Alessandro Pagano, representing the Culture Ministry of Sicily.

The works of art covered in the agreement are:

· Euphronios krater, ca. 515 B.C. (MMA accession number 1972.11.10)
· Hellenistic silver collection, 3rd century B.C. (1981.11.15-22; 1982.11.7-13; 1984.11.3)
· Laconian kylix, 6th century B.C. (1999.527)
· Red-figured Apulian Dinos, 340-320 B.C. (1984.11.7)
· Red-figured psykter decorated with horsemen, ca. 520 B.C. (1996.250)
· Red-figured Attic amphora by the Berlin painter, ca. 490 B.C. (1985.11.5)

Commented Mr. de Montebello: "It is with a recognition of its institutional responsibility—coupled with the highest hopes for continued, mutually beneficial relationships with our many colleagues in Italy—that the Metropolitan has concluded these negotiations, which affirm a solution that it first proposed in Rome in November. This is the appropriate solution to a complex problem, which redresses past improprieties in the acquisitions process through a highly equitable arrangement.

"The Met is particularly gratified that, through this agreement, its millions of annual visitors will continue to see comparably great works of ancient art on long-term loan from Italy to this institution."


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