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Cleveland Museum obtains two historic antiquities

16th August 2012

The Cleveland Museum of Art has announced that it has acquired two "stellar" antiquities objects, which will further enhance its reputation as one of the most significant places for historical artefacts and works of art in the world.

For over half a decade now, the establishment has been on an unprecedented programme of growth, as it seeks to make its mark as one of the world's most important museums.

The recent acquisitions include the Portrait Head of Drusus Minor, which dates from the Early Roman Empire. It is a large-scale, marble portrait of the son of Emperor Tiberius.

There is, the museum stated, a strong possibility that the object, which is in excellent condition, was carved during Jesus' lifetime.

A cylindrical vessel of a battle scene is the other object, dated back to the late classical period (AD 600-900). The exquisitely painted polychromatic vessel depicts the story of ten warriors stripped of their uniforms ready to be sacrificed in some sort of ritual.

Again, the vessel, which is believed to have been used to consume an "elite beverage" made out of cacao beans, is in outstanding condition.

"I am pleased we can add these important works of art to the museum’s classical and pre-Columbian holdings and continue our collecting of the finest examples of art from across cultures and time periods,” commented David Franklin, the Sarah S. and Alexander M. Cutler director of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

"I believe museums play an invaluable role in society as repositories and presenters of the world's art history and through responsible collecting, museums make accessible the world’s art objects for the public’s enjoyment and education."

Mr Franklin, who has been in his position since 2010, has been influential in not only bringing these two objects to the museum, but significantly boosting the Cleveland Museum of Art's existing expansion programme.

“Museums should still be buying antiquities, and we shouldn’t shirk that responsibility, and I think it’s almost an ethical responsibility,” he told the New York Times recently.

"We don’t want to drive these kinds of objects into private collections forever. Or to see all of them end up abroad."

Cadogan Tate is a leader in fine art storage and shipping services, represented by expert art handlers.

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