Los Angeles Times, David Ng
April 7, 2014
The Getty Museum has announced that it is voluntarily returning a 12th-century Byzantine illuminated New Testament to a monastery in Greece after learning that the item had been illegally removed from the Monastery of Dionysiou more than 50 years ago.
Officials at the Getty said in a release on Monday that the museum acquired the manuscript in 1983 as part of a "large, well-documented" collection.
The manuscript is currently at the Getty Center in Brentwood as part of the exhibition "Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroad." It has been featured in 14 exhibitions at the Getty, and was loaned to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1997 for its exhibition "The Glory of Byzantium."
The Getty said it conducted research into the manuscript with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports over the last six weeks.
"Based on new information that came to light through this process, the museum decided that the right course of action was to return the manuscript to the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou from which it disappeared over 50 years ago," said Timothy Potts, director of Getty Museum, in a statement.