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Ken's Korner: Trial of Hecht and True continues in Rome, Italy

Ken’s Korner: Trial of Hecht and True continues in Rome, Italy – The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles – April 2006
The trial of Robert Hecht (an American art dealer charged with trafficking in illegally excavated antiquities) and Marion True (the former antiquities curator of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles also accused of having traded in illegally exported antiquities) was underway in Rome, Italy, at press time. Hecht, 86, sold works to the Getty, and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, including a set of Hellenistic silver pieces and a 5th-century-B.C. vase by Euphronios of Greece.
Prosecutors in Rome detailed a web of connections among dealers they said traded in freshly dug-up artifacts by routing them through Switzerland or prominent auction houses (like Sotheby’s) and into the collections of museums and private individuals. Hecht was indignant in his own defense. “Why don’t they go after Sotheby’s?” he asked. “It’s because they want to smack me.” His lawyer added, “The real culprit is Italy, which consented for many years to its territory being sacked.”

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