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16 Transnational Forfeiture of the Getty Bronze

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the artistic and historical merit of the statue and the story of discovery of the statue, the initial prosecution of finders, and the acquisition of the statue by Getty. The relationship between Italy and the Getty was dramatically altered due to a successful antiquities investigation. The chapter examines recent efforts at forfeiture of the Bronze since 2007, and discusses what substantive Italian laws serve as the basis for the Italian forfeiture. It examines the use of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) and discusses the specific treaty between Italy and the United States. If Italy is successful in using this transnational forfeiture for the return of the Bronze, it will likely lead to other similar efforts from nations which have secured MLATs with the United States. The chapter finally discusses some general observations about how the use of MLATs signals an important change in international cultural heritage law.

Keywords: antiquities investigation; Getty; international cultural heritage law; Italian forfeiture; Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs)



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