Search Results for: Jiri Frel

Jiri Frel: Scholar, Refugee, Curator…Spy?

In the early 1980s, the antiquities department at the J. Paul Getty Museum was a hotbed of whispered political intrigue. Rumors swirled that the department’s Czech curator, Jiri Frel, was a Communist spy. And many believed the deputy curator, former … Continue reading

The Danish Connection: Holding on to Loot at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotech of Copenhagen

UPDATE 7/5/16: After years of stonewalling, the Ny Carlsburg Glyptotek has agreed to return hundreds of looted antiquities to Italy. In a joint announcement released July 5, 2016, Italy and the Danish museum said they had reached an agreement for … Continue reading

Decoding Eakin: Behind ‘Extortion’ Claim, Fear the Floodgates Have Opened

It is no coincidence that The Great Giveback, Hugh Eakin’s lengthy argument against the repatriation of looted antiquities, landed in The New York Times on Sunday, just as the directors of America’s leading art museums gathered in Kansas City for their annual meeting. … Continue reading

Robert E. Hecht Jr., leading antiquities dealer over five decades, dead at 92.

Bob Hecht died quietly at home in Paris at about noon on Wednesday, according to his wife Elizabeth. He was 92 years old. Here’s my obituary in the LA Times. When Robert E. Hecht Jr. arrived at the loading platform of the Metropolitan … Continue reading

Arnold Peter Weiss’ Coin Partner and The Getty Connection

A surprising detail emerged while we were reading about Nomos AG, the Swiss coin dealership whose principal, Dr. Arnold-Peter Weiss, was arrested on January 3 for felony possession of an ancient coin allegedly looted recently in Sicily. One of Weiss’ … Continue reading

The Best of Chasing Aphrodite 2011

Happy New Year! We want to share our profound thanks for the 24,000 visits we’ve had since we launched this site with the release of Chasing Aphrodite last May. You’ve helped make the book a success while shining a light on … Continue reading

Hot Doc: A Damage Assessment at the Getty Finds Forgery, Fraud and Fabricated Histories

The true cost of looting has always been hard to measure: how does one account for what is lost? Perhaps this is why some — Americans in particular, it seems — tend to think of looting as a victimless crime. … Continue reading

Getty Museum Returns Two Objects to Greece, Signs Collaboration Deal

The Getty Museum agreed on Tuesday to return two antiquities to Greece and formalized a broad cultural agreement that will lead to loans, joint research and other collaboration with the art-rich Hellenic Republic. The agreement mirrors similar deals struck with … Continue reading

Cast: The Getty

J. Paul Getty GETTY: He was the world’s richest man: oil tycoon, hypochondriac, philanderer and penny pincher — except when it came to his addiction to art. Late in life he found himself alone, and looked to his mediocre art … Continue reading

Forgery, Bribes and Tax Fraud: Excerpt in Los Angeles Times Magazine

Years before Marion True became antiquities curator at the Getty, her predecessor Jiri Frel orchestrated one of the most elaborate tax frauds in American museum history. At its center was the donation of recently looted antiquities at inflated values. To … Continue reading