Here’s our first customer review on Amazon.com, written by Jill Meyer, a top 500 reviewer for the site:
“Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino, have produced an extraordinary look at the Getty Museum and its problems with stolen antiquities from Italy and Greece in their book, “Chasing Aphrodite”. They go behind-the-scenes of the art/museum world; a world filled with shady deals, outright forgeries, money laundering, and backstabbing that will challenge the previously held view of the genteel world of art collecting.
The book that has resulted from Felch and Frammolino’s painstaking work is a wonderful read about greed – in all forms – that has only recently been controlled by a new Getty Board and staff. Great book.”
Read the full review (and pre-order a copy of the book) here.
A week after sending its statue of Aphrodite back to Italy, the Getty is fighting to keep another ancient masterpiece: its priceless bronze statue of an athlete, whose 1964 discovery by Italian fisherman is featured in the opening chapter of Chasing Aphrodite.
Co-author Jason Felch has the story in today’s Los Angeles Times:
“An Italian government official came to Los Angeles last week to propose a settlement to thelong-running dispute with the J. Paul Getty Museum over one of its most important ancient masterpieces, a bronze statue of a victorious athlete known as the ‘Getty Bronze.’
Gian Mario Spacca, president of the Italian region of Marche where the statue was hauled ashore by fishermen in 1964, met with Getty officials Friday to discuss a deal in which the statue would be shared as part of a broader exchange of art.
The talks come as an Italian court is expected to issue a verdict on the Getty’s appeal of a February 2010 ruling that the statue was illegally removed from the country four decades ago and should be returned.”
You can find the full story here.
The backstory on the bronze is here.
This is what the statue looked like soon after it was hauled from the Adriatic sea by Italian fishermen.
Co-author Jason Felch has a story in Wednesday’s LA Times on the statue of Aphrodite’s return to Sicily. It contains a few scoops from the book on what convinced the Getty board to return the prized statue. Hint: it involves damning photos and the Mafia.
“The J. Paul Getty Museum’s iconic statue of Aphrodite was quietly escorted back to Sicily by Italian police last week, ending a decades-long dispute over an object whose craftsmanship, importance and controversial origins have been likened to the Parthenon marbles in the British Museum.
The 7-foot tall, 1,300-pound statue of limestone and marble was painstakingly taken off display at the Getty Villa and disassembled in December. Last week, it was locked in shipping crates with an Italian diplomatic seal and loaded aboard an Alitalia flight to Rome, where it arrived on Thursday. From there it traveled with an armed police escort by ship and truck to the small hilltop town of Aidone, Sicily, where it arrived Saturday to waiting crowds.
It was just outside this town, in the ruins of the ancient Greek colony of Morgantina, that authorities say the cult goddess lay buried for centuries before it was illegally excavated and smuggled out of Italy.”
Find the full story here.
Co-authors Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino will be on a panel discussing Chasing Aphrodite at the Festival of Books on Sunday, May 1st at 1 p.m. The panel is titled “From Front Page to Book Shelf.” We’ll have early-release copies of Chasing Aphrodite for sale, and the discussion will be followed by a book signing. See you there!
More info at: http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/
On Friday, March 11 co-author Jason Felch spoke about Chasing Aphrodite and Italy’s efforts to reclaim looted art from the Getty Museum at Loyola Law School in downtown Los Angeles. The panel was part of a day long event, “Remnants of Genocide: Reclaiming Art and other Heirlooms Lost in Atrocities.” Details can be found here: http://events.lls.edu/genocide/
If you are interested booking the authors for a similar event, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org