THE VENUS DE MILO MURDERS


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Repatriating a masterpiece

The second notable event in the history of Melos was the discovery of the Venus de Milo in the spring of About four thousand people lived on Melos then. They were constantly in the grip of fears both real and imagined. The real fear was of the brutal whims of the despotic Turks who ruled them.

The imagined fear was of ghosts, goblins, vampires, and other spooks. Interesting and anecdote-filled. A meaningful contribution to the legend of the stony seductress. Readable and enlightening. Filled with striking and compelling characters. Enormously entertaining. Curtis is a writer of generous wit, who packs his book with delicious portraits of the scholars, writers, artists and politicians who contributed to the mythologizing of the Venus de Milo. Reads like a mystery. Curtis writes faster and better than just about any academic art historian. It makes one want to head right off to Paris, to that long gallery in the Louvre, and have a look again.

He has created a work that will endure in your memory like the statue itself. After a while, I started to think that the book would wind up getting, via a single sculpture, to everything—and it very nearly does: art, sex, politics, religion. Brisk and brilliant. Highly readable, well-researched and even passionate. Lush, learned, and surprisingly entertaining. A stunning debut. Deliciously convoluted. Very readable and enlightening.

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Afficher toutes les applis gratuites de lecture Kindle. Vous n'avez pas encore de Kindle? Il n'y a pour l'instant aucun commentaire client. Partagez votre opinion avec les autres clients. Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon. This is a fascinating and well written history of the discovery and subsequent exhibition of the Venus de Milo. Not only the archeology, but the politics both within France and outside and the cultural impact and changing provenance Was it a from the "Classic" or "Hellenistic" period? If you have been to the Louvre and seen her, this backstory will enlighten you.

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If you are planning a trip to Paris and want to see her, read this book first. I look forward to more books by Mr. I first read the Curtis book on the cave painters, and enjoyed it, so I bought this one. He's written a fairly comprehensive report of this piece of art from the time it was first discovered in the 's almost to the present, and it's an interesting journey. Curtis has a painless manner of infusing history with anecdotes such that it reads more like a novel than a dry report on actual events. He's also very good at setting up the influences of the period and explaining why this piece of art was so important to France, particularly, and the world, in general.

He discussed the fact that there was an unofficial competition between different European nations to have the greatest bits of ancient Greece in their own museums, and that victors in wars were known to loot these types of art specifically e. The characters involved are colorful and self-aggrandizing and the different approaches to the restoration and placement of the Venus certainly make the history of this art a lot more contentious than is usually understood.

As a student of art history, I was shocked to learn that curators or their 19th century equivalent would actually destroy things that didn't meet their ideas of what was and was not classical the purposeful loss - or destruction - of some of these pieces is truly a sin, IMO. It's a good book, covers an interesting period, and features a great work of art. What's not to like? If you have been one of the thousands of visitors that pass before the Venus de Milo in the Louvre everyday, you may have asked yourself, what makes this one statue special?

After all, there are thousands of statues in hundreds of famous as well as provincial museums that to the untutored eye seem no different. I bought this book to answer this question. It turns out that what is conclusively known about the statue can be expressed in two well-thought out sentences.

I won't give it away here, but what then is in this book?

In a nutshell, lots of politics. The book describes the circumstances of the statue's discovery.

THE VENUS DE MILO MURDERS Chapter 1

As soon as it was discovered, the Venus became embroiled in controversy. Following the defeat of Napoleon the French were anxious to have a great prize to boost their national pride. The English had the Elgin marbles from the Parthenon. The Italians had the Apollo Belvedere looted from Italy by Napoleon and at the time recently returned.

Any old statue would not do for the French. To be a world-class masterpiece, it had to date from the classical period of Ancient Greece, i. The statue that we have is nothing of the sort.

The book describes the tortuous machinations by which successive Louvre officials strove to boost the fame of the Venus. Obviously, they were successful, but in the process, the true provenance of the statue has been obfuscated. For the same reason, serious research into it has been discouraged. As Curtis states, the last important study was under taken by Salomon Reinach at the end of the 19th century.

This is amazing for an artifact so famous. Compare this with the history of the Louvre's other great treasure, the Mona Lisa! In reading the book I was surprised to find no mention of modern scientific techniques which at the minimum would determine the source of the marble. The powers that be would prefer not to look too closely.

That said, Curtis does make a cogent argument for the true origin of the Venus, which most readers will find satisfactory. Its appeal has stood the test of time and the scrutiny of thousands, so it hardly matters that it was carved by an obscure provincial sculptor.

The conspiracy surrounding the statue notwithstanding, this is a serious book that will be interesting to art historians. It is nothing like the literature surrounding the Shroud of Turin.

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The Venus De Milo - The French Elgin Marbles? Elginism

Readers willing to plough through the background information will be rewarded with an understanding of where the Venus de Milo came from and exactly why she is so famous. That, after all, is why I bought the book. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Among those who served time at the maximum-security facility were the The mass suicide-murder took place at the so-called Born in in Brooklyn, New York, to poor immigrant parents, Al Capone went on to become the most infamous gangster in American history. Gang warfare ruled the streets of Chicago during the late s, as chief gangster Al Capone sought to consolidate control by eliminating his rivals in the illegal trades of bootlegging, gambling and prostitution.

This rash of gang violence reached its bloody climax in a garage His killer backhand brought him fame on the tennis court, but it was a gruesome murder that earned Vere St. Leger Goold real notoriety—this time in the court of law. John Dillinger was born June 22, , in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a boy he committed petty theft. In he robbed a grocery store and was caught and jailed.

Dee Milo (Earth-616)

He escaped and he and his gang headed to Chicago to put together one of the most organized and deadly bank robbing The American Mafia, an Italian-American organized-crime network with operations in cities across the United States, particularly New York and Chicago, rose to power through its success in the illicit liquor trade during the s Prohibition era.

After Prohibition, the Mafia John Bellingham quietly entered the House of Commons lobby around 5 p. As members of Parliament conversed in small clusters, the tall, thin man calmly sat down on the bench next to the fireplace. Believed to date back to BC, the marble statue was created by Alexandros of Antioch and discovered in pieces by a peasant among ancient ruins near the town of Tripiti on Milos in Olivier Voutier, a French naval officer, was said to have negotiated the purchase of Venus when Milos was part of the Ottoman Empire.

Some still question whether it was bought or stolen. It should be given back.


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Milos has a population of just 5, permanent residents — but this swells to 35, in the summer months as Greek and foreign tourists are drawn to its beaches and ancient ruins. Damoulakis aims to bring the statue back by and says a building has been set aside to house it. The mayor met Christophe Chantepy, the French ambassador to Greece, in Athens a year ago — but appeals for support from the French government appear to have gone nowhere. Louvre officials were unavailable for comment. Now, the council is looking for broader international backing. Taxi drivers shake their heads and shopkeepers are reluctant to speak out publicly.

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