The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities--From Italy's Tomb Raiders to the World's Greatest Museums

The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities--From Italy's Tomb Raiders to the World's Greatest Museums

4.5 7
by Peter Watson, Cecilia Todeschini
     
 

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The story begins, as stories do in all good thrillers, with a botched robbery and a police chase. Eight Apuleian vases of the fourth century B.C. are discovered in the swimming pool of a German-based art smuggler. More valuable than the recovery of the vases, however, is the discovery of the smuggler's card index detailing his deals and dealers. It reveals the

Overview


The story begins, as stories do in all good thrillers, with a botched robbery and a police chase. Eight Apuleian vases of the fourth century B.C. are discovered in the swimming pool of a German-based art smuggler. More valuable than the recovery of the vases, however, is the discovery of the smuggler's card index detailing his deals and dealers. It reveals the existence of a web of tombaroli—tomb raiders— who steal classical artifacts, and a network of dealers and smugglers who spirit them out of Italy and into the hands of wealthy collectors and museums. Peter Watson, a former investigative journalist for the London Sunday Times and author of two previous exposés of art world scandals, names the key figures in this network that has depleted Europe's classical artifacts. Among the loot are the irreplaceable and highly collectable vases of Euphronius, the equivalent in their field of the sculpture of Bernini or the painting of Michelangelo. The narrative leads to the doors of some major institutions: Sothebys, the Getty Museum in L.A., the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York among them. Filled with great characters and human drama, The Medici Conspiracy authoritatively exposes another shameful round in one of the oldest games in the world: theft, smuggling and duplicitous dealing, all in the name of art.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
What distinguishes this book from similar exposés about the illicit antiquities trade is the willingness of coauthors Peter Watson and Cecilia Todeschini to name names. Tracing a trove of priceless artifacts along a serpentine trail of greed and deception, they uncover a network of unscrupulous tomb raiders, smugglers, and dealers -- and a clientele that includes world-class cultural institutions, from Sotheby's to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Courageous journalism at its best, The Medici Conspiracy rips the lid off two scandals: the shameful looting of our shared archaeological heritage and the lamentable crisis of ethics in the art world.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781586484385
Publisher:
PublicAffairs
Publication date:
04/02/2007
Edition description:
ANN
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
577,395
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author


Peter Watson writes for the New York Times and has written weekly columns on the art market for the London Sunday Times, Observer and Evening Standard. In June 1997, he was appointed Research Associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in the University of Cambridge. He is the author of The Caravaggio Conspiracy, From Manet to Manhattan,and Sotheby's: The Inside Story. Cecilia Todeschini is a researcher and translator who has worked for the BBC, ITV, CBS, ABC, and NBC. She has covered papal conclaves as well as the great mafia trials in Italy among many other subjects.

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The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities--From Italy's Tomb Raiders to the World's Greatest Museums 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! Some of the best non-fiction I have read. Professionals in the Arts or in Law, I encourage you to read this book. Professional ethics are linked with integrity, or the lack of it. I will never consider membership at any 'art' museum with a casual attitude again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No. Me and marc arm mad at each other and jave beennot talking for a week
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book
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