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April 02, 2015

Getty Villa Presents “A Roman Temple Treasure”

Lecture examines rare cache of fine Roman silver found by chance in 1830

Thursday, April 16, 2015, 7:30 p.m. at the Getty Villa Auditorium


Emma Jacobson-Sive
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6941

Cup with Centaurs (detail), Roman, A.D. 1—100; silver and gold. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des monnaies, médailles et antiques, Paris

LOS ANGELES – Imagine discovering a spectacular treasure entirely by chance. In 1830, a French farmer had just this happen while he plowed a newly purchased field in rural Normandy, unearthing a hoard of some of the finest Roman silver to survive from antiquity. Kenneth Lapatin, curator of the exhibition Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville will examine this rare cache in a lecture on Thursday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Getty Villa Auditorium. The hoard of gilt-silver has been conserved and studied at the Getty Villa for the past four years, and has never been seen outside of Paris before.

Lapatin, who has a particular interest in the luxury arts of Greece and Rome, will talk about what the silver, which is dedicated to Mercury, the Roman god of travel, reveals about religion, culture, and technology. “There are so many exciting aspect of this hoard: we have objects of the finest quality, which are rarely preserved, as precious metals were regularly melted down for reuse,” he said. “And this hoard was dedicated by a wide variety of individuals: men, women, Romans, locals, free-born and ex-slaves.” In addition to the current exhibition on view at the Getty Villa, he co-curated Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World, which recently opened at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy and will open at the Getty Center in July, 2015, followed by the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. in December, 2015.

Tickets are free, but require a reservation. Call (310) 440-7300 or visit
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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and photographs gathered internationally. The Museum's mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.

Visiting the Getty Villa
The Getty Villa is open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Tuesday and most major holidays, but will be open Tuesday December 30. Admission to the Getty Villa is always free. A ticket is required for admission. Tickets can be ordered in advance, or on the day of your visit, at or at (310) 440-7300. Parking is $15 per car. Groups of 15 or more must make reservations by phone. For more information, call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish); (310) 440-7305 (TTY line for the deaf or hearing impaired). The Getty Villa is at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California.

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