Category: Jason Felch

Robert E. Hecht Jr., figure in antiquities case involving the Getty, is dead

February 8, 2012 |  1:55 pm

Hecht1Robert E. Hecht Jr., the American art dealer at the center of the trade in Classical antiquities for five decades, died at his home in Paris on Wednesday afternoon. He was 92.

His death comes three weeks after the ambiguous end of his criminal trial in Rome on charges of trafficking in looted antiquities.

Since the 1990s, Hecht had been at the center of a wide-ranging Italian investigation of the illicit antiquities trade. The investigation traced objects from tombs in Italy through a network of smugglers, dealers and private collectors to the display cases of museums in the United States, Europe and beyond.

Continue reading »

Italian case against antiquities dealer ends

January 19, 2012 |  1:30 pm

Hecht1
The trial of Robert E. Hecht Jr., the alleged mastermind of an international black market in ancient art, ended with no verdict this week when a three-judge panel in Rome found the time allotted for the trial had expired.

Hecht, a 92-year-old Baltimore native now confined to bed at his home in Paris, has cut a wide swath through the art world since the 1950s, supplying museums and collectors around the world with some of the finest examples of ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan art.

β€œI have no idea of where an object was excavated,” he said in a phone interview on Thursday. β€œIt could have been excavated 100 years ago, it could have been excavated an hour ago.”

Throughout that colorful career, Hecht has been dogged by allegations that his wares had been recently looted from archaeological sites and smuggled out of their homeland. It was a claim he never directly denied while maintaining his innocence of the Italian charges, which focused on an alleged conspiracy among dealers he considers rivals.

The ruling brings an ambiguous end to a sweeping investigation that traced relics looted from tombs in Italy through a network of smugglers, dealers and private collectors before appearing on display at museums in the United States, Europe and beyond.

Continue reading »
Advertisement
Connect

Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

Video


Explore the arts: See our interactive venue graphics



Advertisement

Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.


Categories


Archives