“The Italians Have No Legal Title to Repatriation”: Another Glyptotek Update

Reconstructed context: “Etruscan tomb” in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen. Photo: TMK, August 2006.

I have neglected to report on the on-going series of articles in the Danish newspaper Information on the negotiations between Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen and the Italian Cultural Ministry (previously discussed here, here, here, here, here, and here). The series resurfaced back in June but has since gone quiet, awaiting further developments in the case.

Here are links and some translations of the headlines:

16 June “Glyptotekets kunstskatte skaber kulturkamp” (“The treasures of the Glyptotek trigger a struggle for culture”) – with no comments from the Glyptotek, but including opposing views from Kjeld von Folsach, director of the David Collection, and Peter Watson, author of The Medici Conspiracy.

2 June “Glyptotekets forhandlinger med Italien om kunstskatte gået i stå” (“Glyptotek’s negotiations on art treasures with Italy have stalled”) – with comments from Erland Kolding Nielsen of the Royal Library who is chairing the negotiations with the Italians. He notes inter alia (my translation):

The Glyptotek should not accept the deal [the return of artefacts to Italy, such as an Etruscan chariot purchased from Robert Hecht in 1971, with no specified quid pro quo, TMK]. The demands of the Italians rest on the premise that the Glyptotek has acted illegally. But this is not the case – the Italians have no legal title to repatriation of the artefacts, neither from an international, EU nor Danish legal viewpoint.

It seems that the Glyptotek has a long way to go.

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