Sicily: Culture and Conquest

Sicily

British Museum © David Gill

I can remember my first visit to Sicily as an undergraduate to see the temples at Agrigento. The experience was overwhelming as I viewed some of the best preserved Greek colonial temples.

The British Museum’s latest temporary exhibition, Sicily: Culture and Conquest, captures some of history using items from the permanent collections as well as loan materials. Some of the photograph is stunning, placing the objects back in their Sicilian landscapes. I have been to the exhibition twice in the last few weeks, and on the second time was able to observe fresh details.

There are five main themes:

  1. Peoples of Sicily
  2. The Rise of the Tyrants
  3. Age of Conquest
  4. The Normans
  5. An Enlightened Kingdom

The lavish catalogue goes well beyond the exhibition.

Getty to return further head to Italy

getty_hades

Terracotta head of Hades found near Morgantina. Source: MiBACT

The J. Paul Getty Museum is to hand over a terracotta head to Italian authorities tomorrow (details on Looting Matters). It will then be put on display in the museum at Aidone, alongside other objects returned from North American collections.

The head’s return raises wider questions about how the Getty acquired material from private collections in the 1980s in spite of the 1970 UNESCO Convention.