Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Museum Policy Change Volume 49 Number 2, March/April 1996
by Mark Rose

The J. Paul Getty Museum has changed its acquisitions policy and will now purchase only antiquities with what it terms "well-documented provenance." The museum's definition of provenance, however, includes objects from published private collections that lack any real archaeological context. Nonetheless, the museum will be acquiring fewer pieces in the future. The new policy, which also will apply to loans and gifts, is part of a general refocusing of the museum's mission, concurrent with a rebuilding program. Greater priority will now be given to international conservation, education, and research projects and to exchanges and long-term loans of antiquities from museums in the United States and abroad. In the past, the Getty has been involved in controversial acquisitions, including a kouros (see ARCHAEOLOGY, May/June 1994) and a statue of Aphrodite purchased in 1988.

© 1996 by the Archaeological Institute of America