A marble head of Achilles that was once regarded as one of the J. Paul Getty Museum's significant antiquities has been determined to be a fake, a museum spokeswoman said.
The marble head had been dated 350-340 B.C. and was believed to have been created by the Greek sculptor and architect Skopas as a temple decoration depicting a Trojan War scene at Tegea."Following extensive research by our staff and outside scholars, we have concluded that the head is not a Greek original of the 4th century B.C.," said Lori Starr, the museum's spokeswoman.
Starr said the head was removed from display last September "when there was sufficient doubt to warrant a thorough investigation."
In 1986 the museum's handbook described the head as "one of the few original Greek sculptures in Western European or American collections that can be placed within the context of a specific monument."
Starr would not reveal details of the investigation pending a settlement with the anonymous dealer who sold the head to the museum in 1979.
The Getty has also removed from its galleries a marble stele, or stone slab, identified as an archaic Attic grave relief. Starr said the museum has been reconsidering the piece for several years.
The museum will publish a report on both items when research on the stele is complete, Starr said.
Achilles was the mythological hero slain by an arrow to his heel. Attica is the peninsula of Greece where Athens was built.