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Give ’em Hades! ;-)

On Thursday, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles said that it plans to return to Sicily a terra-cotta head depicting the Greek god Hades, after it determined that the head was clandestinely excavated from an archaeological site in the 1970s! According to Timoty Potts, the director, the museum began its investigations of the origin of the piece after a publication showed images of fragments that could JOIN to the head. The terra-cotta head dates to around 300 or 400 B.C. Potts said that the head is believed to have been taken from the Morgantina Archaeological Park in Italy in the 1970s. The Getty acquired the piece in 1985. The original location of the head was the sanctuary of Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest. Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, was married to Hades.

The Getty Museum purchased the piece in 1985 from the New York collector, Maurice Temelsman. The Getty has returned over 40 pieces to Greece and Italy in recent years. In the Museo Archeologico in the city of Aidone, Italy, the terra-cotta body of Hades is under extensive restoration.

The head will be displayed at the Getty Villa from April 3 until August 19, after which it will travel to the Cleveland Museum of Art, where it will be displayed from fall until January 2014.

In February of 2014, the head will be displayed at the Palazzo Ajutamicristo in Palermo, Italy.

-Bill at

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