Getty Announces $100M "Ancient Worlds Now"

The Three Oras mosaic at  Paphos Archeological Park, Paphos, Cyprus. The Getty's "Ancient Worlds Now" will support continued work at Paphos
The Getty Trust has announced Ancient Worlds Now, a $100 million initiative to preserve threatened antiquities worldwide. The project is intended to increase public awareness of how war, indifference, and climate change endanger cultural heritage. The money will support conservation, professional education, exhibitions, and print and digital publications.

The $100 million price tag rivals any Getty outlay aside from those associated with its buildings. The museum probably spent a similar amount for a 2017 group purchase of blue-chip European drawings. Ancient Worlds Now is to be a decade-long project, running summer 2020 through 2030. That would average about $10 million a year. It won't likely break the bank: In comparison the Getty Conservation Institute spent $37 million in 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available. Getty Foundation grants were $27 million in 2017.

Associated with the initiative are several upcoming Getty museum shows. Already announced exhibitions on Assyria (2019-2022) and Mesopotamia (2020) will be followed by "Persia and the Classical World" (2021); "Thrace and the Classical World" (2023); and "The Levant and the Classical World: Phoenicians, Philistines, and Canaanites" (2025).

The Getty Research Institute has acquired the 25,000-volume library of Chinese archaeology assembled by UCLA art historian Lothar von Faulkenhausen, said to be the best in private hands. The GRI has gradually been expanding its scope outward from Europe, and this adds heft to its holdings of Chinese material.