Getty museum says no to Italian demand for statue

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The Getty Museum, one of the world's leading repositories of antiquities, refused on Wednesday to hand over to Italy a 2,500-year-old Greek statue of a boy to end a bitter dispute over looted works of art.

Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli made the demand in Rome, saying Italy would break off ties with the wealthy Los Angeles museum, which funds several restoration projects in Italy, unless it quickly returned art works, including the bronze statue, that Rome says were looted.

"Either there is an agreement or there is a breakdown," Rutelli told reporters in Rome."The time has passed when people could turn a blind eye to looting."

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