Object Number: 135.2012.2
Deaccession Criteria: Restitution/Returned to rightful owner: the work has been legally requested for restitution.
Gianfranco Becchina is a Sicilian antiquities dealer who has been convicted in Italy of dealing in stolen antiquities. Becchina started dealing in antiquities from his premises in Basel, Switzerland, in the 1970s. In May 2002, the Carabinieri, in collaboration with the Swiss police, raided his storage facilities in Basel, recovering thousands of objects in various stages of restorations, photographs of artifacts, and other documents. In April 2012 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized two works that were associated with the investigation of Becchina. According to the Carabinieri, Gianfranco Becchina has been identified as one of the most prolific known traffickers of Italian cultural heritage, and all property that has been shown to have been illicitly trafficked by Becchina is subject to confiscation.
PURCHASE INFORMATION: Dealer: Sotheby’s New York (June 13, 1996)
June 18, 1991; sold at auction by Sotheby's, New York
June 13, 1996, Sotheby's, New York, sold to Dallas Museum of Art
- DMA Agenda, members' newsletter, August–September 1998, p. 7 (ill.).
- Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection. Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1997, p. 24 (ill.).
- Dallas Museum of Art: Year in Review 1996–1997, annual report, p. 10 (ill.).
- DMA Agenda, members' newsletter, Winter 1996 (ill., cover).
- Sotheby's, New York, Antiquities sale catalogue, sale 6863, Thursday, June 13, 1996, lot 87 (ill.).
- Trendall, A. D., and Alexander Cambitoglou. Second Supplement to The Red-Figured Vases of Apulia, Part III. London: University of London, 1992, p. 507, no. 16b1.
- DMA collection galleries, September 3, 1996–present (Focus Gallery, April 4–July 30, 2000)
PROPOSED METHOD OF DISPOSAL: Long-term loan to DMA, if approved by Italian government; eventual return to Italy
CRITERIA FOR DEACCESSIONING: A request from the Italian government for restitution, with compelling evidence, including photographs, that object was looted and/or illegally exported
Evidence including a Polaroid seized by the Carabinieri in Geneva at Medici’s Port Franc