Judge refuses to toss Armenian church Bible suit

November 4, 2011 - 10:05 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge has refused to dismiss an Armenian church lawsuit demanding that the J. Paul Getty Museum return pages ripped from a sacred Armenian Bible dating back to 1256.

Superior Court Judge Abraham Khan on Thursday denied Getty's motion to dismiss the claim and ordered four months of mediation involving Getty and the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, which sued in June 2010.

The lawsuit says the church had the Bible authenticated in 1947 or 1948 and it was returned with more than a half-dozen pages missing.

Getty officials say the pages were legally acquired in 1994 from an anonymous private collector.

The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/vQW5zV ) reports museum attorneys argued the lawsuit filing deadline expired decades ago.

The judge ordered mediation and another hearing on March 2 if the case isn't settled, saying he's unclear on the statute of limitations issue.