Statues of Limitations

Archaeologists Don’t Dig Moynihan’s Art Collector Pal for Stolen-Treasures Post

In 1995, Levy introduced Moynihan at an institute conference conducted at the National Press Club in D.C., proclaiming him "the most brilliant and independent member of the Senate." Moynihan returned the warm feelings, prefacing his speech by proclaiming, "I'm in love with Shelby White—say it anywhere. I want the world to hear it."

Levy, though, has other pals besides Moynihan and is a member of more-prestigious panels than the institute that he himself founded. He's the vice chairman of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), the Princeton, New Jersey, think tank where Albert Einstein once thought. And one of Levy's underlings at Odyssey (the Levy-Nash investment powerhouse), Brian Wruble, is also on the institute's board.

Which puts a different cast on a quote in last week's Times attributed to Glen W. Bowersock, one of White's supporters, described in the article as "an internationally respected" professor of ancient history at the IAS; he called White "an admirable representative of the nonprofessional community of collectors." A strong endorsement from a guy who, essentially, works for her husband.

Meanwhile, Hillary Rodham Clinton may have stepped into something unpleasant in her quest to succeed Moynihan. On a trip to Turkey last year, The Boston Globe reported, she did something that Moynihan would never do: She publicly sympathized with the locals by railing against the pillaging of their treasures. One of the most noted possessions of White and Levy, it turns out, is the top half of a statue called "Weary Herakles." The Turks, who have the bottom half, want the top back.

This dispute has dragged on for years; White and Levy maintain that they purchased it legally and won't oblige. Where Hillary would stand on all this, if elected, isn't known. She didn't return calls seeking comment. But it's worth noting that White and Levy contributed campaign funds not only to Moynihan but to Bill Clinton's presidential runs. White, however, must have heard about Hillary's Turkey talk. She's giving money to Rick Lazio.

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