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Show of Sicilian treasures back on at Cleveland Museum of Art

August 23, 2013|By Jamie Wetherbe
  • A Sicilian medallion of silver and gold, made circa 300-212 BC, depicts Scylla of "Odyssey" fame.
A Sicilian medallion of silver and gold, made circa 300-212 BC, depicts… (J Paul Getty Museum )

After weeks of much-publicized and behind-the-scenes negotiations, an exhibition of Sicilian ancient treasures will open at the Cleveland Museum of Art on its originally scheduled date,  Sept. 29.

The museum announced Thursday that Sicilian cultural authorities will allow the show, which was canceled last month, to go on — and without tacking on the proposed extra loan fees, reported.

As part of the deal, the Cleveland museum will loan work from its collection, including Caravaggio's "Crucifixion of Saint Andrew," to Sicily in 2015.

“Sicily: Art and Invention Between Greece and Rome” was organized by Sicilian officials, the Cleveland museum and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and features more than 100 ancient treasures, including a rare gold offering dish and the 6-foot “Mozia Charioteer” statue.

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The show ran at the Getty Villa in Malibu from April 3 through Aug. 19, and was then slated to open in Cleveland in September. The two American museums planned to split the exhibition costs.

Sicilian officials last month complained that the absence of pieces from the exhibit was causing tourism dollars to dip and proposed that Cleveland pay roughly $700,000 in additional fees, The Times reported.

Cleveland opted to cancel the exhibition, likely leaving the Getty to foot the roughly $990,000 bill for the show, or about $300,000 more than it had planned to spend, Getty spokeman Ron Hartwig recently told the Times.

But after the announcement of the show's cancellation, negotiations were quietly in the works between Cleveland and Sicily resulting in the agreement announced Thursday, according to reports.

“Our discussions with the government of Sicily resulted in a very favorable agreement that will benefit both the museum and the Sicilian public,” David Franklin, the museum’s director, said in a statement.


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