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Dallas Museum of Art opens Display of Excavated Etruscan Tomb

The Dallas Museum of Art presents a set of art objects from a 5th-century B.C. burial site in Spina, Italy, go on view at the museum from November 1, 2013.

The exhibition is the first display of this excavated tomb since its discovery almost a century ago, and features four Attic red-figure vases, dating from 470–400 B.C., a 5th-century B.C. silver fibula, a bronze statuette from the latter half of the 5th century B.C., and an alabaster vessel. The works will remain on view through 2017 in the Museum’s second floor galleries.

The group was discovered together in the summer of 1926 in a grave at Spina, one of 4,000 tombs excavated in the ancient Etruscan city since 1922. The works will make their world debut at the DMA as part of the Museum’s cultural exchange program, DMX, which is designed to establish collaborations for the loans of works of art and sharing of expertise in conservation, exhibitions, education, and new media. The program promotes cross-cultural dialogue and provides audiences at home and abroad with expanded access to artworks that span time period and culture.

This collaboration with Italian authorities is part of an ongoing partnership that began in 2012, when the DMA transferred ownership of six objects in its collection to Italy in recognition of evidence attesting to their being looted several years earlier. The transfer was completed in collaboration with the Foundation for the Arts and Munger Fund, which held ownership of three of the works for the benefit of the Museum. Those objects, which include three kraters, dating from the 4th century B.C., a pair of bronze shields from the 6th century B.C., and a head of an antefix, an architectural decoration for a tiled roof, dating from the 6th century B.C., remain on long-term view at the DMA. The loan of art from Spina marks the official signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Italian Ministry of Culture, which emphasizes continued collaboration between the Museum and Italian officials.