Settlement Negotiations in the Getty Bronze Dispute

Posted on March 29, 2011


On a summer day in 1964, the 60-foot trawler Ferruccio Ferri pushed off from this port before dawn. It motored southeast, cutting through the Adriatic Sea toward a submerged outcropping where fish gathered, 32 nautical miles out.

By dusk, the Ferri had reached the spot. The seven men in the crew cast their nets and fished all night, dozing in shifts.

Early the next morning, the nets caught on a snag. The boat’s engine whined. With a jolt, the nets came free. Crewman Igli Rosato watched as a barnacle-encrusted figure emerged from the sea.

“C’e un morto!” cried one of the fishermen, Rosato recalled. “There’s a dead man!”

And so the story begins as to the discovery of the Getty Bronze, pictured at right.  This week, Italian officials traveled to Los Angeles to attempt to negotiate a settlement regarding the disputed sculpture.

Italy has been seeking the sculpture’s return in Italian courts, and in February 2010 the lower court ordered the Getty return the sculpture, finding that it had been illegally removed from Italy.  The Getty appealed, and the judge handling the appeal is expected to rule this week.

It is unlikely that the ruling would be enforceable in the US, however, as the object was recovered from international waters — not illegally excavated from Italian soil.

To read more, check out the LA Times: Italian official seeks return of ‘Getty Bronze

To read the (great) article that the initial passage of this post comes from, regarding the discovery of the Getty Bronze, check out: The Amazing Catch They Let Slip Away

Hat Tip LCCHP.