The J. Paul Getty Trust stated Thursday it will appeal an Italian court's order to return the 2,000-year-old bronze Statue of the Victorious Youth. The ancient Greek statue, which once belonged to Italian owners, is on view at the Getty Villa Malibu, according to the museum.
Earlier on Thursday an Italian judge issued a 37-page order demanding that the statue be returned to Italy. Italy and the Getty have been fighting over the artwork for years, with a previous ruling weighing in the Los Angeles museum's favor.
"The court's [most recent] order is flawed ... " the Getty Trust stated Thursday. ``It should be noted that the same court in Pesaro (Italy) dismissed an earlier case in 2007 in which the same prosecutor claimed the Statue of a Victorious Youth belonged to Italy. In that case, the judge held that the statute of limitations had long since expired, that there was no one to prosecute under Italian law, and that the Getty was to be considered a good faith owner.''
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The museum states that the great bronze work was found about 40 years ago in international waters, and that the Getty had acquired legitimately in 1977. However, in a similar dispute, the Getty agreed to return dozens of other disputed artworks to Italy in 2007,