INDEPENDENT NEWS

Italy Seeks Ancient Loot From Symes Trustees

Published: Tue 28 Jul 2009 12:53 PM
Italy Seeks Ancient Loot From Symes Trustees
By Suzan Mazur
"The collection represents a selection of objects from a larger collection formed by Maurice Tempelsman, a diamond merchant resident in New York, over the past twenty-five years. The individual pieces come from a variety of sources, although the largest number were provided directly by, or were bought legally through, Robin Symes of London. All have been legally imported into the U.S. The collection is currently in the Museum." -- Acquisition Notes of Getty Museum antiquities curator Arthur Houghton cited in The Medici Conspiracy.
Among the high profile clients of British antiquities dealer Robin Symes was Maurice Tempelsman -- one of the pillars of the Eastern Establishment (Council on Foreign Relations, African American Institute, long-time beau of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and "friend" of former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright); Leon Levy & Shelby White and the Metropolitan Museum of Art were customers too. Symes bought his pieces primarily from now-convicted antiquities smuggler Giacomo Medici, the man who sold the Euphronios Sarpedon vases to Bob Hecht.
In a reversal of fortune beginning with the accidental death of Symes's long-time business partner and companion Christos Michaelides ten years ago at a dinner party in Italy hosted by Levy & White and then many months in prison in the UK -- Symes, once the prince of the ancient art trade, is now bankrupt. And Italy is asking for restitution of some 1,000 artifacts from Symes's Trustees in Bankruptcy, according to Maurizio Fiorilli, the lawyer for Italy's Ministry of Culture who negotiated the return of the Euphronios krater and other treasures from America's museums.
Although Symes destroyed most of the documents related to his business partnership with Michaelides, there is still an indelible photo trail. Here is a sampling of the pieces Italy seeks as part of its cultural patrimony. In some cases there is an exact match of photos of objects seized during raids on Medici in Geneva and Santa Marinella and those from the Symes hoard.
Related Articles:
"Madeleine Albright & Maurice Tempelsman Q""Mr. Garsin from Kinshasa" "Deeper Into The Dillon-Eupronios Nexus" Maurizio Fiorilli - Italy's Antiquities ProsecutorRelated Link >> Harvard Law School, Art Law 2008 Syllabus
Images Courtesy of Davide Proietti/Carabinieri Art Squad
1. Etruscan terracotta relief, draped woman Southern Etruria




Photo Medici ----- Photo Symes #2603
Click for big versions
2. Etruscan terracotta head




Photo Medici --------- Photo - Symes #2582
Click for big versions
3. Etruscan gold and glass beaded necklace with round flat pendant
Photo Medici




Photo Medici --------- Photo - Symes #2841
Click for big versions
4. Etruscan gold and blue class beaded necklace with gold amphora




Photo Medici ----------- Photo - Symes
Click for big version
5. # 199 Earthenware pot with applied panel relief decoration from Vulci, 7th Century BC


Click for big version
6. #2624 Patera with handle in human shape, Greek from Southern Italy, 6th Century BC


Click for big version
7. #G 1210 Bone fibulae - dolphins from Taranto


Click for big version
8. #I 1269 Terracotta vegetal ornaments from Taranto


Click for big version
9. #37D Foot of black-figure Attic vase with Etruscan inscription


Click for big version
10. #I/1190 Italic or Etruscan bronze statuette, 6th - 5th Century BC


Click for big version
11. #R 2767 Silver phiale, two silver cups (calathus) and a silver patera, 1st - 2nd Century AD. Similar to artifacts from Pompeii, Ercolano and Boscoreale


Click for big version
12. #2361 Carinated cup with baccellature common to the Vesuvian area, decorated on the outward side with leaf designs in pairs.


Click for big version
ENDS

Next in Comment

Julian Assange: A Thousand Days In Belmarsh
By: Binoy Kampmark
The Mauling Of Novak Djokovic
By: Binoy Kampmark
Voices Of Concern: Aussies For Assange’s Return
By: Binoy Kampmark
Forbidden Parties: Boris Johnson’s Law On Illegal Covid Gatherings
By: Binoy Kampmark
Dunne Speaks: Question Time Is Anything But
By: Peter Dunne
Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal
By: Binoy Kampmark
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media