Statement by NYU Spokesman John Beckman

Washington Square Arch

"The only issue that the most recent court ruling addressed was the paternity of Liana Beacci. Contrary to some claims, it does not in any way, shape, or form settle the issue of inheritance, on which there has been no ruling. Nor does it have an impact on the operations of NYU Florence, which will carry on.

"Even if, as the most recent decision suggests, Liana Beacci (who died in 2000) was the daughter of Arthur Acton (who died in 1953), that does not determine an entitlement to inheritance. The fact is that Villa La Pietra was not bought nor ever owned by Arthur Acton, who was of modest means. Rather, Villa La Pietra was acquired by his wife, Hortense, who was heir to an American banking fortune. And there is no question that Liana Beacci and her children are unrelated to Hortense Mitchell Acton, and have no claim whatsoever on her estate.

"NYU Florence will continue to operate as it has. And NYU will continue to fight this matter in court to preserve the great and beneficial educational and cultural resource that was created by the University at the Villa in accord with the wishes and the generous bequest of Sir Harold Acton."

Press Contact

John Beckman
John Beckman
(212) 998-6848