Getty museum to return ancient artifact to Sicily

Jan 11, 2013

The J. Paul Getty Museum plans to return to Sicily a terracotta head depicting the Greek god Hades after determining it was clandestinely excavated from an archaeological site in the 1970s.

Museum director Timothy Potts says the Getty took initiative to investigate the piece's origins after seeing fragments in a publication that could join to the head, which dates to about 400 to 300 B.C.

The Getty procured the piece in 1985, and Potts says it's believed it was taken from an archaeological site in Italy in the 1970s.

The piece was purchased from New York collector Maurice Tempelsman. It is among more than 40 pieces the museum has returned to and Italy in recent years.

Explore further: Tooth buried in bone shows two prehistoric predators tangled across land, sea boundaries

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