In the late 1980s the J. Paul Getty Museum, the richest museum in the world, was rocked by a scandal that forever changed the world of antiquities. A rogue curator had stolen millions from the museum's coffers, and as was later learned some of the most prized antiquities acquired by the Getty and many famous museums had been looted from other countries. Arthur Houghton served as curator at the Getty during this period of upheaval and will provide a unique inside perspective of these momentous events that became the genesis of his recent thriller novel, Dark Athena.
Arthur Houghton brings his extensive diplomatic experience and credentials in art and classical studies to unfold the fascinating story of the Getty scandal and the resulting sweeping changes in international laws involving the acquisition of antiquities. With degrees from Harvard College and the American University of Beirut, Arthur Houghton entered the U.S. Department of State in 1966, where he held assignments in Beirut, Amman, Cairo and Washington, D.C. He returned to Harvard to secure a second degree in art history in 1981 and served as Associate Curator and Curator in Charge of Antiquities at the Getty Museum from 1982 to 1986.
Houghton has been personally involved in evolving international antiquity policies as a member of numerous boards, including the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the Cyprus-American Archaeological Research Institute, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the American Numismatic Society, the Middle East Institute and American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), among others. More recently, he served on the U.S. Cultural Property Advisory Committee and on the U.S. Mint’s Citizens’ Coin Advisory Committee.
Houghton's publications include four books and more than fifty articles on ancient coinages and economics. Dark Athena, his first novel, is to be followed by a second, The Genesis Cypher.
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