Modern Antiquities: The Looted and the Faked, a lecture by Dr David Scott

The Bay Area Art Conservation Guild and the Ancient Art Council present the 2012 BAACG Masters in Conservation lecture:

Modern Antiquities: The Looted and the Faked, by Dr. David A. Scott

Saturday, September 1, 2012 @10am at the Legion of Honor, San Francisco

The talk will discuss the perception of theft as it pertains to ancient art and the current crisis in terms of museum acquisitions or holdings acquired after the UNESCO convention date of 1970.  The conflicting arguments in favor of repatriation of art and its retention will be highlighted and examples from the author’s experience in Greek and Pre-Colombian Art discussed. The “Getty Bronze” of a Greek athlete acquired by the Getty Museum in 1976 has an unusual history and its ownership has been a contentious issue between the Italian government and the Getty for many years. Pre-Columbian gold work without any provenance is commonly present in museum collections as the artifacts were looted from tombs before making their way into museums. The modern redefining and expansion of what we call theft complicates the status of these objects and their rightful ownership.  The increasing prevalence of art in our modern world which is either faked or looted, enhances the concept of using displayable copies much as Roman copies of ancient Greek sculptures came to be admired as authentic. The problems of copies and their use will be discussed in the context of the disputed origins of ancient art and the input which conservation has had on several of the important aspects of this subject.

Florence Gould Theater
Legion of Honor
100 – 34th Avenue
Lincoln Park
San Francisco

Register for the event at or RSVP to

Non-member cost: $15, free to BAACG and AAC members.
Dr. David A. Scott, Professor, Department of Art History and Founding Director of the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program has written extensively concerning the technical examination and conservation of metallic works of art as well as several studies of pigments from ancient Egyptian contexts.  His book, Copper and Bronze in Art, won the 2002 award from the Association of American Publishers as the best Art/Scholarly book published that year. Professor Scott has written over 100 papers and six books.  His latest venture is to devise a coherent teaching course on the subject of Art: Fakes, Forgeries and Authenticity, from which the current talk is derived.

This lecture is cosponsored by the Bay Area Art Conservation Guild and the Ancient Art Council of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.