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A new addition as just opened at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. It is purported to be the largest collection ever assembled of bronze sculpture from the Hellenistic period, which covered about 300 years before the Common Era.

Whenever we see stories like these, our interest in the art is easily matched by our interest in the logistics of getting it all into one place where the local Los Angeles population can enjoy it. We may be alone in that. People don’t often think about the kind of shipping service Los Angeles institutions need to rely on to bring these sorts of things to the public.

The new exhibit has been drawn from 32 lenders across 14 countries and four continents. That’s a lot of separate instances of antique shipping and fine art shipping. And there are a lot of chances for loss or damage of priceless national treasures if the shipping service doesn’t know precisely what it’s doing.

It’s easy to take the accessibility of everything for granted in the modern world. But if you stroll the halls of the Getty Museum before the exhibit goes down on November first, take a moment to appreciate the expert care that goes into shipping antique artwork not just across the world but across 2,300 years.

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