February 1, 2012
Another review of Chasing Aphrodite – about the Italian’s hunt for looted artefacts in the Getty Museum.
BOOK REVIEW: ‘Chasing Aphrodite’
CHASING APHRODITE: THE HUNT FOR LOOTED ANTIQUITIES AT THE WORLD’S RICHEST MUSEUM
By Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28 384 pages, illustrated
The 19th century was the golden age of acquisition. European and American collectors, smitten with the lure of antiquities from Greece, Italy and China, spent recklessly to assemble great collections in London, Paris and New York. No one questioned that marbles from the Parthenon would get more careful attention in London than in Athens.
Then the tide began to turn. Italians became restless at the sight of their “patrimony” being exported abroad. In 1939, Italy passed a cultural property law stating that archaeological objects found after that date were the property of the state. In Athens, Greeks demanded the return of the Elgin Marbles.
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