The director of the J. Paul Getty Museum will meet with Greek culture officials in Athens May 16 to discuss demands that the Getty return four allegedly looted antiquities.
The visit by museum Director Michael Brand, announced Wednesday by the J. Paul Getty Trust, comes as Greek authorities step up a criminal investigation aimed at securing the return of four Getty objects, including a 2,500-year-old solid gold funerary crown considered to be one of the museum's antiquities masterpieces.
The Greeks are also asking the Getty to give back an inscribed tombstone and a marble torso of a young woman, both of which they claim could only have come from Greece. The fourth artifact is a votive relief of Greek origin that J. Paul Getty bought himself in 1955.
In late March the Greek art squad searched the Greek summer home of Marion True, the Getty's former antiquities curator, and found 17 unregistered antiquities with an estimated value of less than $12,000.
This week, authorities returned for a second search of the home on the Greek island of Paros and found additional unregistered objects, authorities said. True is currently on trial in Rome on charges of conspiring to traffic in illicit artifacts.
Police have also raided a home owned by London antiquities dealer Robin Symes and his late partner, Christo Michailidis, on the Greek island of Schoinousa.
Symes was one of the Getty's main antiquities dealers, but Giorgos Voulgarakis, the Greek culture minister, said Wednesday that authorities found no link between items taken in the recent raid and the museum.
Brand went to Rome in January to begin negotiations over Italian demands for the return of more than 50 objects, a claim based largely on evidence used in True's trial.