The so-called Athlete of Fano, a Greek bronze found off the coast of Italy by fishermen in 1964, remains the subject of controversy between the Italian government and the Getty museum, which acquired the statue in 1977.

The so-called Athlete of Fano, a Greek bronze found off the coast of Italy by fishermen in 1964, remains the subject of controversy between the Italian government and the Getty museum, which acquired the statue in 1977. Italy demands repatriation of the sculpture, also known as the Victorious Youth, claiming it was acquired illegally. The Getty appealed an Italian court’s decision, citing that the statue was found in international waters and had “only a fleeting and incidental connection with Italy” even though it was certainly bound for the peninsula on its ill-fated ship. The latest court hearing concluded on 6 June but without a definitive resolution. Italy’s Court of Cassation passed the case on to the Constitutional Court, thus leaving the statue’s fate in limbo. It remains on view at the Getty Villa in Mailbu, California.

Victorious Youth, Greek bronze exported or taken to Italy, ca. 300-100 BCE, Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, 77.AB.30

Pre-conservation photograph showing thick layer of corrosion and incrustation.

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