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Prized Met Acquisition Less Than Legit?

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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LOST MARBLE? Sculpture

Just weeks before the April opening of a new Greek and Roman antiquities exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum, the author of a new tell-all has discovered that some of the prize pieces set for display in the new Leon Levy and Shelby White Court may have been pillaged from Greece and Italy and smuggled over borders.

The potential scandal, unearthed by Michael Gross during research for his forthcoming book about New York's storied art mecca, is already raising hackles among museum insiders. Spurred on by the wealth of her late husband Levy (the Oppenheimer mutual fund kingpin), influential museum trustee White hopes to deed her collection to the Met free from the rising din that her treasured objects were stolen. But Gross reveals that several of the artifacts may have to be repatriated to Greece and Italy.

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