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Bluebeard Returns – Los Angeles Returns Hades Head to Italy



Bluebeard Returns – Los Angeles Returns Hades Head to Italy

Thanks to the efficient collaboration between the Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles, the State District Attorney’s Office of the Province of Enna, the Carabinieri’ Cultural Protection Special Unit and the John Paul Getty Museum the Head of Hades, also known as “Blue Beard”, will return to Italy. The artifact is of exceptional artistic value and was part of the Villa Getty collection.

Stolen from the Santuario di San Francesco Bisconti area in Morgantina (Enna) at the end of the seventies, the artifact was illegally exported and sold to the Getty Museum in 1985 for 500,000 dollars.

Consul General Antonio Verde stated, “We need to thank the competency of Italian Archeologists if, from a curl of blue ceramic found during the excavations in San Francesco Bisconti, which presented the characteristic color of the artifact stored at the Getty, we were able to ascertain the origin of the head”. Deputy State District Attorney for the Province of Enna, Francesco Rio, who in 2014 wrote the international rogatory that lead to the restitution, expressed appreciation for the immediate willing cooperation offered by the important Californian museum that brought about the comparison between the Head of Hades and that first curl and others, later found thanks to the Archeological Museum of Aidone (Enna). Dr. Rio also thanked the Palermo branch of Carabinieri’s Cultural Protection Special Unit, headed by Major Luigi Mancuso, for their painstakingly accurate work.

The Head of Hades, handed over today by the J. Paul Getty Museum in the presence of the Consul General of Italy, will return to Italy on Jan. 29th escorted by Italian judicial and police authorities directed to its place of origin.

Rare and priceless, unique in its kind, both for the very fragile material used, and for the intriguing traces of color, brick red for the hair and blue for the beard, that gave the head the name of Blue Beard, the artifact is a multicolored terracotta head of Greek origin measuring 27.3 x 20, 5x18.5 cm. Slightly larger than a natural head, it probably represents the God Hades, a divinity tied to the cult of Demetra and Kore, particularly widespread in Sicily.


             The Head of Hades - RAINEWS

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Article Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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