The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, August 19, 2019

The Speed Art Museum and Italian Ministry reach loan agreement on ancient calyx-krater
Greek, Paestum in southern Italy. Attributed to Python, as painter. Mixing vessel (calyx-krater). About 350-340 BCE.

LOUISVILLE, KY.- The Speed Art Museum is returning to the Italian government a 2,400-year-old ceramic vessel that was apparently looted from Italian soil. The return of this red-figure calyx-krater is part of a multi-year agreement between the Museum and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage under which the calyx-krater will remain at the Speed for four years to be followed by future loans from the Italian state.

The Speed voluntarily proposed the return of the calyx-krater after receiving evidence suggesting that the vessel had been illegally excavated and exported from Italy.

“At a time when the public knows about the international law on looting mostly from disputes and litigation, I am proud that the Speed proposed and reached this positive solution with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, which supports our shared interest in the responsible celebration of Italian cultural heritage,” said Speed Art Museum Director Stephen Reily.

“The restitution by the Speed Art Museum of the red-figure calyx-krater from Paestum allows the return of an object that is part of our national heritage,” added Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Dario Franceschini.

The calyx-krater was made around 350-340 BCE in Paestum, an ancient Greek colony located in southern Italy. Ancient Greeks used kraters such as this to mix wine with water. The term calyx-krater refers to shape of the vessel, which resembles the open calyx of a flower. This calyx-krater depicts Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and the theatre, reclining on a banqueting couch and playing a game of kottabos.

The Speed Art Museum purchased the calyx-krater in 1990 from Robin Symes Limited, a fine arts dealer based in London and a specialist in ancient art. At the time Symes indicated he had acquired the krater from a private collector in Paris.

In 2015, the Speed was contacted by Christos Tsirogiannis, a research assistant working for the Trafficking Culture project at the University of Glasgow. He provided the Museum with digital copies of two color photographs of the calyx-krater, including a Polaroid seized during a 1995 raid by the Italian Carabinieri on the Geneva Freeport warehouse belonging to antiquities dealer Giacomo Medici. Medici was convicted in 2005 on an unrelated charge of receiving stolen goods, the illegal export of goods, and conspiracy to traffic.

The source of the photographs, their format, and the dirt-encrusted appearance of the krater in the photographs confirmed for Speed staff the likelihood that the krater had been excavated in violation of international and Italian laws governing the ownership and excavation of archaeological material.

Immediately after seeing the photographs, the Speed contacted the director general of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism in Rome.

“The Speed followed responsible museum practices when it acquired this work in 1990, and we are proud to lead the way in responsible museum practices today by initiating contact with the Italian government on this issue and then negotiating a positive resolution,” said Reily. “We are grateful to Italy for partnering in this agreement and for letting us continue to share this beautiful object with the public, while also sharing important information related to looting, cultural heritage, and repatriation.”

“When archaeological sites are plundered, the perpetrators also rob us of invaluable and often irreplaceable information about the objects they uncover,” said Kim Spence, Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, who also oversees the Speed Art Museum’s ancient art collection. “The Speed fully supports the work of professional archaeologists who follow the law and contribute to the better understanding of art objects and the significance those objects played in the lives of their owners,” added Spence.

Today's News

February 1, 2018

Major exhibition features artistic masterpieces from the glorious Church of the Gesù

Rubin Museum exhibition highlights the magical legends of Buddhist master Padmasambhav

The Speed Art Museum and Italian Ministry reach loan agreement on ancient calyx-krater

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art opens exhibition of ceramic works by Pablo Picasso

Tilton Gallery opens exhibition of works by Martha Tuttle

LiveAuctioneers joins Codex Consortium; blockchain protocol set to revolutionize auction marketplace

Ritz Paris, 120 years of history at auction

Howard Greenberg Gallery opens exhibition of Steve Kahn’s The Hollywood Suites

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU appoints Amy Galpin as new Chief Curator

Dufy tops results at Freeman's European Art & Old Masters auction

Ronchini Gallery opens the first UK solo exhibition of Japanese artist Katsumi Nakai

The Fine Art Society exhibits etchings and lithographs by the British-American artist Gerald Brockhurst RA

Janet Borden Inc. opens Amusement Park by Ddavid Brandon Geeting

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum introduces Curator of Digital Experience

Saâdane Afif invites the public to compose their own interpretation of his work in exhibition at WIELS

BAMPFA mounts major solo exhibition of work by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

Goucher College's Silber Art Gallery presents "Jim Condron: Diminishing Returns"

Blown to bits, famed Syria temple falls victim to Turkey assault

Ceausescu auction points to lingering nostalgia among Romanians

Timothy Taylor opens exhibition of works by Jean Dubuffet, Simon Hantaï and Charlotte Perriand

Exhibition at arebyte Gallery brings together the work of 10 artists from London

Gouri, Israeli poet-warrior and national icon, dies at 94

The June Kelly Gallery opens exhibition of Abstract Expressionist paintings by Stan Brodsky

Solo exhibition by Ala Younis held simultaneously in London and Dubai

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful