May 21, 2016

J. Paul Getty Museum and The Museo Archeologico Nazionale In Naples Sign Agreement To Conserve and Display A Magnificent Apulian Vase At The Getty Villa


Desirée Zenowich        
Getty Communications        
(310) 440-7304                   

Ornella Falco
Museo Archeologico Nazionale de Napoli
081 4422275

Front and back of Colossal Red-Figure Krater from Altamura, Apulia, about 350 B.C.,
Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples (MANN)

NAPLES, ITALY - The J. Paul Getty Museum and the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples (MANN) signed an agreement today to conserve and exhibit at the Getty Villa the Colossal Red-Figure Krater from Altamura, Apulia, which is in the collection of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale. This important collaboration is the latest project in a broad cultural exchange agreement made in 2007 between the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Tourism and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

“The Getty Museum is very pleased to renew our important and mutually beneficial partnership with the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples through this latest agreement,” said Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts on signing the agreement in Naples. “The conservation and display of this magnificent Apulian vase is only the latest in a series of projects the Getty has undertaken that have enriched the experience of visitors to the Getty Villa while also contributing to the preservation of Italy’s rich cultural heritage. We look forward to continuing this relationship with the Museo Archeologico in Naples in the years ahead for future loans and exhibitions that will further tell the story of Italy’s artistic past.”

"The collaborative agreement with the Getty is a good pairing for the MANN, which houses all the finds from the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, the ‘source of inspiration’ for the design of the Getty Villa,” says Paolo Giulierini, director of the MANN. “This important project, an extension of our prior conservation partnerships, is one from which future scientific research, restorations, and major exhibitions can arise. The MANN, therefore, will definitely benefit from a heightened level of international exposure."

The Colossal Red-Figure Krater from Altamura, nearly 6 feet (2 meters) tall, is a masterpiece of the richly decorated vases produced at Taranto in Apulia, Southern Italy. Dating from around 350 BC, the krater shows a remarkable depiction of the Underworld populated with more than 20 mythological figures, including the gods Hades and Persephone, the musician Orpheus, the hero Herakles, and Sisyphus, who was eternally punished by having to roll a giant boulder up a hill.

Other projects that have resulted from the 2007 cultural exchange agreement include the long-term loans of three splendid bronze treasures from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples, the Ephebe (Youth) in 2009 and the Apollo Saettante (Arrow-Shooting Apollo) in 2011, and the over-life-size bronze sculpture of Tiberius in 2013. Before going on display at the Getty Villa, the Apollo Saettante and the bronze sculpture of Tiberius underwent conservation and analysis by the Getty Museum’s antiquities conservation department.

The Colossal Red-Figured Krater from Altamura will be transferred to the Getty Villa in June to begin study and conservation work and afterwards will go on display in the Museum.  The project is being supported by the generous assistance of the Getty Museum’s Villa Council.

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The J. Paul Getty Museum collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum’s mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.

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About the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli
The National Archaeological Museum of Naples is not merely one of the most remarkable collections of ancient exhibits in the world; its galleries house historical collections which can justly claim to be a cornerstone of Italian cultural history. These include the wealth of gems and sculptures inherited by the Bourbons from the Farnese collections; the treasures from Herculaneum and Pompeii, a unique heritage of frescoes, sculptures, ornaments and everyday objects; famous collections and new displays such as the history of coins and the celebrated Secret Cabinet, the repository of “obscene” artefacts illustrating the erotic side of life for the ancient Romans. The Museum is also the repository for significant archaeological materials from the region, including from the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum, which was the inspiration for the design of the Getty Villa. The collection is housed at Piazza Museo Nazionale, 19, in the 17th-century Palazzo degli Studi.

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