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The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities--From Italy's Tomb Raiders to the World's Greatest Museums By Peter Watson Cecilia Todeschini,

  • Title: The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities--From Italy's Tomb Raiders to the World's Greatest Museums
  • Author: Peter Watson Cecilia Todeschini
  • ISBN: 9781586484026
  • Page: 145
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The story begins, as all stories do in good crime thrillers, with a botched robbery and a police chase Eight Apulian vases, of the fourth century BC, were discovered in the swimming pool of a German based art smuggler More valuable than the recovery of the vases, however, was the discovery of the smuggler s card index detailing his deals and fellow dealers It revealed tThe story begins, as all stories do in good crime thrillers, with a botched robbery and a police chase Eight Apulian vases, of the fourth century BC, were discovered in the swimming pool of a German based art smuggler More valuable than the recovery of the vases, however, was the discovery of the smuggler s card index detailing his deals and fellow dealers It revealed the existence of the furtive tombaroli tomb raiders who stole classical artifacts, and a clandestine network of dealers and smugglers who spirited them out of Italy and into the hands of wealthy collectors and museums.Peter Watson, a distinguished former investigative journalist of the London Sunday Times and author of two previous exposes of art world scandals, traces the networks and names the key figures who have depleted Europe of its classical treasures Among the looted items are the irreplaceable and highly collectable vases of Euphronios, the equivalent in their field to the sculptures of Bernini or the paintings of Michelangelo Their journey takes them through the doors of some of the world s greatest institutions Sotheby s auction house, the Getty Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Bostons, the British Museum, the Berline Museum of Classical Antiquities, the Miho Museum in Japan and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.When the news networks around the world began to broadcast the events of the trial of a former curator at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles in 2005, they stumbled across the corner of a thirty year conspiracy Filled with colorful characters and hum drama The Medici Conspiracy completely and authoritatively exposes the latest version of one of the oldest cons in the world theft, smuggling, and duplicitous dealing all in the name of art With this definitive revelation of the chain of corruptions, the world of antiquities dealing and museum collections will never be the same again.
    The Medici Conspiracy The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities From Italy s Tomb Raiders to the World s Greatest Museums The story begins as all stories do in good crime thrillers with a botched robbery and a police chase Eight Apulian vases of the fourth century BC were discovered in the swimming pool of a German b

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

    1. This book burst all my rose tinted bubbles about Gentlemen Art Thieves There are no Thomas Crowns or Indiana Joneses but a cartel of nasty mafioso in line with The Sopranos or James Bond circa 1970 s But that is the reality because this book is a Non Fiction A non fiction that reads like an epic crime novel with all your eccentric cast of characters from the paranoid crime boss who obsessively documents his loot and stores ancient artifacts in a giant pool filled with chemical solutions in his [...]

    2. This would make a great movie or novel, but even as a work of non fiction it s a fascinating read Between this book and Chasing Aphrodite you ll never look at the Getty and several other museums the same way.

    3. Well written and documented inquest into the world of antiquities The looting, the thefts, the complaisance of the professionals curators, museum board members, scholars , the greed all combine to make it extremely easy for tomb raiders that includes collectors, museums, tombaroli, smugglers to despoil entire region It shows how since the 1960 a system, international system, was put in place to answer the demand for antiquities from collectors and that there was a huge profit to be made out of i [...]

    4. A fascinating read, written by a writer from The New Yorker, some of which I had read in that magazine I ve also seen collections of antiquities in major museums in Berlin, Paris, London, New York, and Malibu plus a few others The question of provenance of these objects is hotly contested, even to the extent of prosecutors taking some cases to court on an international scale This book describes in great detail some of these cases It would be hard now to look at some Greek pots and statues and no [...]

    5. A fascinating look at the unscrupulous and criminal ways that museums and major auction houses have aided and abetted the looting of priceless antiquities This has damaged history and archaeology the theft of these pieces not only removes them from their country of origin, but prevents scientists from seeing them in the context they were found As a result, their display adds nothing to our understanding of the cultures and civilizations that created them The museums involved are not small ones y [...]

    6. This book intrigued me from page one and at times left me angry, sad, hopeful and furious In the end, my heart was broken by both the scale and the currency of major looting across Italy and I have never thought of museum collections the same way.For art and archaeology enthusiasts, this is a must read.For students of art history, this is a must read.For those interested in true crime and the thrill of the hunt, this is a must read.However for all those parties, I would be surprised if anyone ca [...]

    7. I ve read several books on stolen art and antiquities, but this one is centered specifically on an Italian police squad dedicated to antiquity theft Antiquity theft is a double crime financial as well as cultural and the history goes from gentlemen antiquarians stealing artifacts without a qualm to modern thieves taking orders from decorators for antiquities to grace the front hallways of Manhattan apartments It s both appalling and fascinating.

    8. Museum curators, auction houses, and art dealers caught red handed looting Italian tombs by paying poor peasants to rob them at night and then making false claims as to where they came from Totally interesting and sad and maddening.

    9. This is a book that all interested in archeology and ancient antiquities should read It may take some time to get through it because of all the investigations and the many people involved in illegal looting of antiquities from the soil of Italy and other countries It is sad to know that very well known museums and many of their officials and many well know private collectors drove the market to become a very sophisticated syndicate that became experts in destroying tombs, breaking apart antiquit [...]

    10. It often feels that the modern non fiction book has eschewed the staid reserve of information transfer to weave narratives that blend author and subject into a cohesive whole The fly on the wall Grand Narratives of Game Change and Too Big to Fail, both late 2010, had the vox populi appeal, their commercial success harbinging a sea change in non fiction that led to a surfeit of dialogue reconstruction, memoir esque retrospection, and direct appeals to reader as fellow traveler.The Medici Conspira [...]

    11. Awesome book Very dense and contains a LOT of details, but it completely reveals the inner workings of the illegal antiquities trade to the public Also, it mentions a professor I ve taken classes with Rick Elia and I have to give it a good rating because of that.

    12. After reading this book you can never look at museums the same again Extremely enlightening and written like a crime storyWell, it is a crime story, true and of epic proportions.

    13. This book is a fascinating look at the antiquities trade, the lives of the tomb robbers, middlemen, and triangulation that major museums hide behind in the search for beauty without history.Having taken merely a single archeology class, I assume I only know the very basics of how important the information archaeologist collect as they record in great detail all aspects of their discoveries However, I was horrified by the wanton destruction of our common past, the thousands upon thousands of beau [...]

    14. Interesting study of the way antiquities are looted and sold in the international market Medici is the name of the man central to an investigation into the organized criminal antiquities market he bought and sold looted items for many years before being tried, found guilty, and sent to prison This paperback edition came out in 2007, before the final judgment regarding various people involved One of the men mentioned was just arrested January, 2015 for trafficking in stolen antiquities the bigges [...]

    15. Of course being gullible naive Davina it was surprising to discover the extent to which established cultural institutions would become involved in illicit looting Watson writes with a great deal of passion, he obviously cares a great deal for the plight of these antiquities and the cultural history surrounding them His evidence against the culprits in this scheme tomb robbers, collectors, dealers, auction houses, curators is clearly arranged and quite persuasive At times the book seemed a little [...]

    16. This book is about a fascinating topic, but it s almost unbearable to read Another well written book on the subject, or an edited version of this that runs under 200 pages, would be a welcome alternative.This NYT article discusses one of the artifacts that is featured prominently in this book Maybe The Lost Chalice mentioned in the article is a better alternative get this story The reviews of that book don t sound too promising either, though.

    17. An interesting book told definitely from a journalistic point of view While I find the story intriguing, I found the book got highly repetitive by the end and I began skipping sections However, my main complaint is that there were no citations or bibliography included While I understand this was meant for a wider audience, the authors based an entire chapter on a journal article by Chippindale and Gill, yet never gave a proper citation so readers could easily find the article to read for themsel [...]

    18. This is an extremely well researched book And while it may make it a dense read, the amount of detail seems necessary to show the scope of looted antiquities trade Watson follows an international network of looters, middle men, art dealers, archaeologists, and collectors exposing not only the convoluted schemes, but also making it very clear what a gray area antiquities trade is That s not to say that he s an apologist for the looters, but on the receiving end, there are scholar providing false [...]

    19. This book would have made a better long magazine article for the average reader than a book It went on and on about pottery fragments and legalities A little too much for me Then again it had some fascinating chapters For the person interested in stolen antiquities and museum practices it is a great book He does name names I would say it is for the specialist than the average reader.

    20. I thought this was going to be a book about the Renaissance Medici family, but I soon learned it is about modern day art scams I never knew I thought they were all nice nowadays Okay, not really, but this book made me realize that not everything is necessarily as authentic as the curators would like us to think.

    21. This book started off like a thriller, diving deep into the world of stolen antiquities But I lost interest about halfway through when the text suddenly turned into a long list of name dropping and who s who of the mid 90 s archaeology world Had the book been 130 pages less, I think I would have stayed riveted and shocked by this very true story.

    22. Excellent book about art theft Exposes Thomas Hoving and other collectors for major museums for their underhanded dealings in the art world Tells about how the director of the Getty and others steal world art from countries under the guise of innocently collecting.

    23. Fascinating subject, but poorly written The prose is dry, redundant, and wordy it would have benefited from judicious editing.

    24. Who knew so many of the antiques we see in museums were looted Can t wait to see if they were able to shut down some of these tomb robbers.

    25. This is an excellent book which reveals the extent to which museums will go to obtain antiquities, contributing to the illegal pillaging and destruction of archaeological sites A good read.

    26. Now outdated given the twists and turns of the Italian legal system, but horrifyingly delightful if you are at all interested in art, museums and Italian international politics Bonus the Mafia.

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