9.01.2010

The Medici Conspiracy and David Gill's Looting Matters

I've written a couple of blog posts about Peter Watson's The Medici Conspiracy, and I'll be posting more soonish. It's a fascinating book, and since I know some of the people in it, and interned in the Antiquities department at Sotheby's in the summer of 1994, I can say that although I might quibble over minor points here and there ... it's pretty much on the money.

One of the minor characters in the book is a looter-smuggler named Nicolas Koutoulakis - he's important enough to have featured in the 'flow chart' of looting used by the tombolari supervisors (and if I'm making this sound like a corporation, that's because it was a highly organized business).

That's why I find it shocking that the Met still has an object labelled as given "in memory of Nicolas and Mireille Koutoulakis" - it's the Minoan Larnax pictured here (Met details here).

I discovered this thanks to a post on David Gill's blog Looting Matters: A Minoan larnax in New York 
I don't always agree with Gill on everything, but he's doing an amazing job following up the leads from the events covered in The Medici Conspiracy. The book I read ended in 2006 (I assumed that the paperback was updated), but Gill's blog is almost a sort of sequel or update to the book.

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