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Publishers WeeklyFocusing on a piece by the renowned ancient Greek vase painter and potter Euphronios, archeologist and journalist Silver presents a captivating tale of ancient art as a modern hot commodity. Euphoronius' "lost" kylix (chalice) mysteriously reappeared in the early 1970s after 2,400 years, it was purchased at auction in 1990 by a man identified only as a "European dealer," and again disappeared from public view. Silver deftly traces the intricate path of the chalice from Cerveteri, Italy, where robbers unearthed the Greppe Sant'Angelo tomb complex in 1971. The multifaceted story is grippingly revealed by Silver, who writes with verve and aplomb, along with the tale of a companion krater, or vase, by Euphronios, long housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and returned to Italy in 2008 under a landmark arrangement. Silver's telling is infused with an infectious curiosity about the illicit art trade and an equally infectious appreciation of the art itself, adding up to a fascinating look at "the dealings of tomb robbers, smugglers, wealthy collectors, ambitious archaeologists, and corrupt curators."
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