By Mike Boehm
LOS ANGELES (Los Angeles Times) — The Getty Museum will keep eight brilliantly illustrated table of contents pages from a 750-year-old Armenian Bible after settling a long-running lawsuit brought by an American branch of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
The church contended they had been illegally separated from the rest of the book amid the Armenian genocide during World War I.
The Getty and the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America jointly announced the settlement Monday. Both sides said they were happy with the outcome, but for very different reasons.
The Getty gets to keep the art, and the church gets recognition that all along it has been the rightful owner of the pages, which were separated about 100 years ago from a complete Bible called the Zeyt’un gospels.
The rest of the book is at the Matenadaran, a museum and library for manuscripts in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. The Getty bought its pages in 1994 from an Armenian American family for $1.5 million in today’s dollars.