The Met first began to accumulate objects from Hecht within the 1950s, and continued to take action even after Hecht was charged by Italian prosecutors with smuggling in 1959 and 1961. The case towards Hecht was later dismissed when the statute of limitations expired, and Hecht died in 2012 after constantly denying he performed any function in illegally exporting artwork.
“Celestial dancer (Devata),” an 11th-century Indian statue within the Met’s assortment linked to the convicted antiquities smuggler Subhash Kapoor. Credit score: The Metropolitan Museum of Artwork
“The Met units the tone for museums all over the world,” Tess Davis, government director of the anti-trafficking group Antiquities Coalition, advised the ICIJ. “If the Met is letting all of these items fall by the cracks, what hope do we now have for the remainder of the artwork market?”
The Met has been the topic of a number of high-profile seizures over the previous few years. Final yr, not less than 29 objects from the Met’s assortment have been seized by authorities within the US, together with Egyptian bronzes, Greek busts and historic plates, helmets and statues from all around the world, in keeping with the ICIJ.
“Clearly, gathering requirements have modified in latest a long time … the sector has advanced, and The Met has been a pacesetter on this progress,” museum spokesperson Ken Weine advised The Artwork Newspaper, including that The Met has made “many” latest returns on the museum’s personal initiative, together with 4 objects repatriated to Nepal.
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