In a new review, SAFE contributor Senta German describes Chasing Aphrodite as “a story the Getty wants no one to know…told from the inside out.”
“Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino…have assembled an extraordinary array of sources with which they tell a story the Getty wants no one to know: how the museum knowingly purchased looted and fake antiquities, misled foreign governments in their attempts to reclaim stolen property, laundered stolen antiquities through an illegal tax scheme and adopted extraordinarily conservative acquisitions policies while at the same time actively buying from the illicit antiquities market.
“It is a story of the astounding mismanagement of opportunities, resources, human capital and global reputation. Put one way, it is confirmation of the worst many suspected about curatorial caprice and institutional duplicity. Put another way, if you’re interested in issues surrounding the illicit antiquities trade, collectors and the Classical world, you can’t put the book down….
“The documentation Chasing Aphrodite presents regarding just how much curators, general counsel, the museum director and CEO of the Getty trust knew about antiquities purchases is one of the most significant aspects of the book.”
For those who don’t know the organization, Saving Antiquities for Everyone (SAFE) is New York-based education and advocacy organization whose mission is to raise awareness about the damage that results from the illicit trade in antiquities. They organize lectures, tours and events on the subject, in addition to hosting a great blog.