DePaul Law Professor Patty Gerstenblith discussed the J. Paul Getty Museum's "Victorious Youth" statue for the LA Times piece "The Getty's Victorious Youth' is subject of a custody fight":
Patty Gerstenblith, a leading advocate of protecting archaeological
sites and sending looted art back to nations of origin, said that
"Victorious Youth" shouldn't be considered a looted work and needn't be
returned. Italy never had a legally valid ownership claim, she said,
because the statue wasn't found in Italian waters or on Italian soil,
and it wasn't made or owned by modern Italy's Roman and Etruscan
Known informally as the "Getty Bronze," the statue is no stranger to
legal battles. It was discovered in 1964 in international waters off the
coast of Italy and has been on display at the Getty since 1978,
attracting more than 400,000 visitors a year. Italian authorities have
repeatedly tried -- and failed -- to claim the Getty Bronze as state
property, beginning in the late 1960s.
In recent years, an Italian prosecutor filed a new claim and a decision by the Court of Cassation in Rome is currently pending.
Professor Gerstenblith also had a letter to the editor
published in a recent Saturday edition of the newspaper. Her letter was
written in response to an opinion piece, "More laws, less treasure,"
which argued that cultural property laws lead to a decline in
archaeological discoveries. In response, Professor Gerstenblith noted
that the author of the opinion piece confused correlation with causation
and also failed to distinguish between national ownership laws and
other "patrimonial" laws such as export controls.