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Mail call at the Getty

September 10, 2008 | 12:41 pm

The following e-mail from the president of the Getty Trust was sent to staff today:

From:    James Wood
To:    ALL
Date:    09/10/08 9:52 AM
Subject:    Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the
Ancient World

Dear Getty Colleagues,

I want to alert you to a recently published book titled "Loot: The
Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World" that includes
chapters on the Getty. It is written by Sharon Waxman, a former New
York Times Hollywood entertainment writer.

more after the jump...

Ms. Waxman's book focuses on the trade in antiquities, but it also
dwells on other troubling aspects of the Getty's history.  While
clearly we cannot ignore our past, I believe it is more important for
us to be focused on the Getty's future. Much has been accomplished
over the last three years to improve the way in which the Getty
operates, allowing us to concentrate squarely on the Getty's overall
mission.  We have adopted new policies and procedures, and strengthened
existing ones to ensure the Getty is a leader in non-profit governance.
Our recently completed strategic plan has refocused and reinforced our
commitment to leadership in all aspects of the visual arts and laid the
groundwork for a sound financial future. 

We have put in place a strong new acquisitions policy and resolved
outstanding issues with Italy and Greece, sending a clear signal that
the Getty is working to halt the trade in stolen antiquities.  This is
reinforced by the essential work of the Getty's four programs here at
home and around the world.  It is this work that ultimately is the
standard by which we will be measured.

Since the book deals with Marion True at some length I want to stress
our continuing support for a positive outcome to the tragic
circumstances she has faced for over four years.  We believe, based on
the evidence we have seen, that she will be found innocent. In the
meantime, we continue to support her defense. 

A second book dealing with the issues surrounding the trade in
antiquities and the Getty's role is expected to be published this
spring.  We will alert you about it as more information becomes


James N. Wood
President and CEO
The J. Paul Getty Trust
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1681

— Christopher Knight