Sharon Waxman went out to the Getty Villa today to monitor the packing up, and shipping out, of some of the 40 statues and other antiquities being returned to Italy under an agreement with the museum. She calls it a sad sight, with pieces quietly disappearing day by day. The most glaring absence might be that of the Apollo acquired in 1985, but that Italian authorities insist was looted somewhere along the way. Waxman blogs:
I met Surinder Kent, a security guard, who said he had a shock on coming to work today. "I came in this morning, and he was gone," he said, referring to the towering marble statue of Apollo that stood in the central niche of the gallery called the Basilica. Normally Apollo is the main figure in a long hallway lined by the muses and gods, one of which -- a Dionysus -- has also been removed for restitution. "I miss him like I was missing a person," Kent said. "It's strange. It shook me up. It's just stone. But you get emotionally involved." He sighed. "The gallery will never be the same."
Waxman is working on a book about the museum trade in antiquities.