With a dramatic flourish, the Museum of Fine Arts unveiled a more than nine-foot tall marble statue loaned by the Italian government as part of the MFA's recent agreement to return looted art that had ended up in its collection.
The statue, Eirene (Goddess of Peace), can be seen, starting Wednesday, in the MFA's Roman Court Gallery and will remain at the museum for three years. Several American museums have agreed to return looted works to Italian authorities. But the MFA, which returned 13 objects to Rome in September, is the first to receive a loan.
At an afternoon press conference at the MFA, museum director Malcolm Rogers and Francesco Rutelli, the Italian Minister of Culture, said this loan was only the first step in a new partnership between the museum and the Italian government that will include loans for an MFA exhibition on Venetian painting planned for 2009.