Former Getty curator faces antiquities smuggling trial next week

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ A former curator of Los Angeles J. Paul Getty Museum will be tried in an antiquities smuggling case next week after a prosecutor postponed her trial for eight days, court officials said Tuesday.

Marion True has been charged with illegally obtaining a 4th century B.C. golden funerary wreath allegedly clandestinely unearthed in northern Greece and purchased by the Getty museum in 1993 while she was antiquities curator. The wreath was returned to Greece in March.

A prosecutor agreed to the eight-day postponement of her trial after Trues lawyer petitioned the court to throw out the smuggling charges, court officials said. A date for the trial that was originally due to be held in early October was set for Nov. 27.

True, who did not appear in court during Mondays hearing, has also been charged separately with illegally possessing at least a dozen antiquities found during a police raid on her holiday home on the Aegean island of Paros in April 2006. She has denied all charges.

Under stringent Greek laws to protect antiquities, it is illegal to possess, buy, sell or unearth ancient artifacts without a permit.

The former curator also faces charges in Italy, where she is accused of knowingly acquiring dozens of ancient artifacts that authorities maintain were stolen or unearthed illegally and smuggled out of Italy. She also denies those charges.