MALIBU (AP) — Italy’s decade-old campaign to retrieve antiquities it claims were illegally brought to California will end after the New Year.

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles will return to Sicily a fifth century B.C. statue of the goddess Aphrodite, the last of 40 artifacts it agreed to return as a result of Italy’s crusade.

Sebastiano Missineo, the minister of culture from Sicily, visited the Getty Villa in Malibu on Monday and viewed the statue. He also viewed the marble Agrigento Youth, loaned to the Getty in exchange for a custom earthquake base. He will to tour the Villa’s conservation studios and the Getty Museum as well.

Both sides say the discord caused during Italy’s antiquities hunt has spawned a new era of cooperation and reciprocation.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  1. Edgar A. says:

    I think its better to return the antique to its rightful owner, however it was a real delight to have a chance to view it myself without flying overseas. thank you getty center!!

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