The Italian Supreme court ordered the American Museum to return the statue «the Athlete of Fano»

© AFP 2018 / Giuseppe Avaipable near the court building in Milan, Italy. Archival photoThe Italian Supreme court ordered the American Museum to return the statue «the Athlete of Fano»© AFP 2018 / Giuseppe Aresu

The Italian Supreme court ruled that the Getty Museum in California is required to return Italy Greek bronze statue of the Hellenistic era «Athlete of Fano», according to Italian media.

The sculpture «the Athlete of Fano», created around the IV century BC by the Greek sculptor Lysippus, was discovered off the coast of the Italian city of Fano in the Adriatic sea in 1964. The Getty Museum acquired the statue in 1977, the German merchant of art for four million dollars. The Italian government has so far challenged the legality of the removal of the statue outside the country.

According to the newspaper Repubblica, the Italian Supreme court dismissed the appeal filed by lawyers for the Getty Museum in connection with the decision of the court of the Italian city of Pesaro on the confiscation of sculpture.

«Lysippus have to go back to Italy, this Italian justice», — quotes the edition of Sole 24 Ore of Pesaro Prosecutor Silvia Cecchi.

Responsible for working with the media Vice-President of the J. Paul Getty Museum Lisa Lapin expressed his disappointment with the decision of the Italian justice and noted that the Museum «will continue to defend the legal rights to the statue.» «The law and the facts in this case do not give grounds for return to the Italian government the statue, which was exhibited in Los Angeles almost half a century,» reads the statement Lapin, published on the website of the Museum.

According to the Italian newspaper Repubblica, the decision of the Supreme court of Italy «can access the Getty Museum the way to appeal to the European court of human rights (ECHR)».