December 03, 2018

Getty Support of Italian Cultural Heritage

Media Contact(s):

Julie Jaskol
(310) 440-7607
Getty Communications

 Getty Support of Italian Cultural Heritage - fact sheet

 Getty Support of Italian Cultural Heritage 12.3.18



Since the early 1980s, the Getty has worked closely with our Italian colleagues in conserving, protecting, researching and celebrating Italy’s cultural heritage. With its art, architecture, and archaeological sites spanning many millennia, Italy is a natural partner for the Getty’s multi-faceted work. The Getty has a long history of cooperation with Italian institutions and individuals on numerous projects and programs, a small sampling of which are listed below:

  • The Getty Foundation has supported 137 grant projects totaling more than $20 million.
  • The Getty has awarded more than $500,000 in fellowships to Italian scholars and hosted more than 130 scholars, fellows, and interns from Italy supported by grants totaling more than $1.3 million.
  • The Getty Museum has lent more than 130 works of art including paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs to over 50 different institutions in Italy.
  • The Getty Research Institute (GRI) has lent more than 70 works of art including prints, drawings, manuscripts, and rare books to exhibitions in Italy.
  • Getty conservators have lent expertise to the restoration of hundreds of works of art and cultural objects in Italy.
  • The Getty has presented more than two dozen exhibitions in collaboration with institutions in Italy,involving agreements for cultural collaboration between the Getty and the Ministry of Heritage and Cultureand Tourism, the Sicilian Ministry of Culture and Sicilian Identity, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli,and the Museum of Aidone.



Herculaneum Project -- The Getty Conservation Institute partnered in 2008 with the Soprintendenza Speciale per I Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei (SANP) and the Herculaneum Conservation Project to address conservation issues critical to the preservation of the archaeological site of Herculaneum through a combination of scientific investigation and fieldwork, including the conservation of decorated architectural surfaces.  Since then, Parco Archeologico di Ercolano (PA-ERCO) has replaced SANP as the Institute’s partner. 

Panel Paintings Initiative -- Enhances understanding of the structural conservation of panel paintings and provides expertise in the structural stabilization of these works to a new generation of conservators. Partners include Opificio delle Pietre Dure; projects include the conservation of Giorgio Vasari’s The Last Supper (1546). 

MOSAIKON Initiative -- Conservation and management of mosaics in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. Partners: International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) in Rome, and the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM). 

Researching Florentine Workshop Practice -- Seeks to better understand 14th-century Florentine workshop practice and how the materials chosen by artists working in panel painting and manuscript illumination affect the present-day appearance, stability, and conservation of these works.  



The Getty has conserved and exhibited many high-profile Italian artworks at the request of Italian museums:

Apollo Saettante 2009 -- One of the first large-scale bronzes to be excavated at Pompeii, Italy; found in fragments in 1817 and 1818, the sculpture was brought to the Getty Villa for an 18-month study and conservation project beginning in 2009.

Tiberius 2012  (through loan from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli) 
A year-long conservation project developed a new internal support that evenly distributed the substantial weight of the figure (some 1,050 pounds of bronze). The statue was fully cleaned, revealing the lustrous dark patina it would have had when first showcased in the Royal Museum at Portici. 

Morgantina 2012 -- 37 votive offerings excavated from the sanctuaries of the ancient city of Morgantina were on loan from the Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aidone, Sicily. Certain objects were treated, in particular a bust whose delicately painted decoration was obscured by encrustation. This recent cleaning more fully revealed a rare figural scene of dancing women, possibly representing a marriage celebration or Dionysian festivity. Getty conservators also constructed new mounts for several of the objects.  

Colossal Red-Figure Krater from Altamura, Apulia, 2016 -- The conservation of the krater, which is in the collection of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, was part of the broad cultural exchange agreement in 2007 between the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Tourism and the Getty Museum. 

Benevento Obelisk 2018  (in partnership with the Museo del Sannio and the Provincia di Benevento) -- The Getty Museum conserved and studied the work while it was in Los Angeles for the Beyond the Nile exhibition.

Drunken Satyr 2018 -- Getty Museum conservators are currently conserving The Drunken Satyr for the exhibition After Vesuvius: Treasures from the Villa dei Papiri in 2019 (part of the agreement with Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples (MANN)). 



Since 1995, the Getty Museum’s Department of Antiquities has worked closely with the Ministero per I Beni Culturali e Ambientale to identify and return more than 50 works of art that can be documented as illegally removed from Italian collections, museums, or archaeological sites.   



The Getty Research Institute has collaborated with Italian organizations on more than 40 projects to create and maintain resources, many of them electronic, for scholarship in art history. The GRI has assisted 577 Italian researchers from institutions and museums (342 requests for off-site researchers and 208 onsite scholars from Italy). Since 2007, the GRI loaned 39 items to scholars in Italy through the interlibrary loan program. Library staff fulfilled 132 Reproductions and Permissions requests for the use of publishing the GRI’s collections in Italian publications from 2007 to present. 



Since the early 1980s, the Getty has conducted six major research projects concerning antiquities or other aspects of Italian cultural heritage, including a project on the Forum of Trajan, Digital Mellini, the Study of Art in Roman Palaces and research on archaeological material from Francavilla Marittima. Additionally, the Getty has led or participated in nearly 40 conferences, workshops and symposia focused on aspects of Italian cultural heritage, involving hundreds of scholars from Italy and all over the world. 



Select grant highlights: 

Keeping It Modern Grants, 2015 - 2018 
Keeping It Modern Grants were awarded to conduct conservation research and planning for Fondazione Politecnico di Milano (2018), Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza” (2017 & 2018), and Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo (2017 & 2015). 

Fondazione Internazionale per la Conservazione del Mosaico, 2017-2018  
Supported a convening of Italian regional MOSAIKON stakeholders. 

Opificio delle Pietre Dure e Laboratori di Restauro (OPD), 2010-2018  
Supported training for panel paintings conservators centered on the treatment of significant works of art, including The Last Supper by Giorgio Vasari. 

Opera di Santa Croce, 2008 
Supported the preparation of a conservation plan for the frescoes by Giotto in the Bardi and Peruzzi chapels of the Church of Santa Croce. 

International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), 1986-2018
ICCROM in Rome received a number of grants to support the training of conservators.  A grant in 1986 supported a conservation training project, jointly organized with Yale University, at the House of Menander in Pompeii.  Since then a number of training courses in Rome and outside Italy have been supported. Additional grants include support for the training of individuals who are responsible for the care of mosaics and the translation and online publication of key reference texts. 

Pontificio Santuario Scala Santa, 2000-2006 
Two large grants awarded to the Padri Passionisti supported a conservation survey and treatment of the fresco cycles, wall surface treatments, and marble restoration in the Choir and the San Silvestro chapel of the Pontificio Santuario Scala Santa.  In 2006, the Foundation awarded a grant to support the publication of the project. 

Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico per il Polo Museale della Città di Roma, 2008 
Supported the preparation of a catalogue of the sculpture collections of the Museo Nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia.

Fondazione Federico Zeri, 2006 
Supported the processing of photos of 16th and 17th-century Italian paintings in the collection of Federico Zeri, the Italian art historian whose papers are housed at the University of Bologna.

Uffizi Drawings Catalogues, 1990-2004 
Four grants have been awarded in support of the publication of catalogues of the drawings in the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. 

Università degli Studi di Milano, 2002 
Supported an Italian research project on the facade reliefs of Orvieto cathedral. 

Opera di Santa Maria del Fiori, 2002  
Supported the creation of a relational database of documentary sources on the administration of Florence Cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, during the early 15th century.   

Fototeca Unione, various dates 
Grants have been awarded to the Fototeca Unione, which belongs to the various research institutes in Rome but is housed in the American Academy, to prepare a master plan of the Photo Archive and to plan its automation. A separate grant to the Academy funded a joint bibliographic database for the Unione Internazionale of the archaeological, historical, and art historical institutes in Rome. 



More than 50 research support grants have been provided by the Getty Research Institute Library (separately from the Getty Foundation) to help Italian scholars and advanced students who are otherwise unaffiliated with the GRI to pursue short-term (from one week to three months) research projects 



  • 73 books have been licensed from Italian publishers, covering ancient and modern Italian art and culture
  •  The Getty has published more than 150 books devoted specifically to ancient and modern Italian culture, with many additional titles featuring contributions from Italian authors
  • Getty Publications regularly works with several Italian printers, including Graphicom, Conti Tipocolor, Trifolio and VeronaLibri

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