This exhibition presents an overview of acquisitions by museums in the Nord-Pas de Calais region over the last thirty years.
It is an excellent opportunity to explain to visitors the meaning and logic behind a purchase. The event is therefore part of the Louvre-Lens’ mission to go behind the scenes and reveal the inner workings of museums. Featuring works acquired thanks to the involvement of the FRAM regional acquisition fund for museums, endowed in equal part by the State and Region, the exhibition showcases the efforts of various players in enriching museums: the local authorities answerable for the collections, the Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs, and the Nord-Pas de Calais Regional Council.
Luc Piralla, Musée du Louvre-Lens; Philippe Gayot, Musées de la Porte du Hainaut, association of museum curators for the Nord-Pas de Calais.
The Classic Greek mixing-bowl attributed to the artist Python (active ca. 350 – 325 BC) of Poseidonia (Paestan) on display in Gallery 161 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City should be returned to Italy because it has no collecting history before 1989 and has been matched with photographs in the possession of a convicted art dealer, according to the work of University of Cambridge’s Christos Tsirogiannis. (You can see The Met’s description of the object online here ).
This terracotta bell-krater, described in detail in Dr. Tsirogiannis’ column “Nekyia” in the Spring 2014 issue ofThe Journal of Art Crime, appears with soil/salt encrustations in five photographs from the confiscated Medici archive – including one Polaroid image. Then, “The object was auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York in June 1989 and the same year appeared as part of The Met’s antiquities collection,” Dr. Tsirogiannis reports.
Art dealer Giacomo Medici was convicted in 2005 of participating in the sale of looted antiquities. The story of how illicit antiquities were sold to art galleries and museums in Europe and North America was told in the 2006 book by Peter Watson & Cecilia Todeschini, The Medici Conspiracy: the illicit journey of looted antiquities, from Italy’s tomb raiders to the world’s greatest museums(Public Affairs). The Medici archives (or “Medici Dossier”) were described as “thirty albums of Polaroids, fifteen envelopes with photographs, and twelve envelopes with rolls of film … [along with] 100 full rolls of exposed film … [for] a total of 3,600 images” found in Medici’s warehouse of antiquities in Geneva in 1995. . . . .