Seeking to build on its success in bargaining with a few American museums, Italy has asked the New York collector Shelby White to consider returning more than 20 ancient artifacts that it argues were illegally mined from its soil, officials involved in the negotiations say.
The request was relayed this month in a letter to Ms. White’s lawyers, they said. Rather than implicitly threaten legal action, however, as it occasionally has in pursuing objects in major museum collections, the government hopes to rely on moral suasion, said Maurizio Fiorilli, a lawyer for the Italian Culture Ministry. He said negotiations would begin in earnest in December.
Mr. Fiorilli said the Italian government was not implying that Ms. White or Leon Levy, her husband, who jointly amassed the collection over 30 years, were involved in any crime. (Mr. Levy died in 2003.)
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Antiquities Market update Top Collector Is Asked to Relinquish Artifacts