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Art as Plunder : The Ancient Origins of Debate about Cultural Property, Paperback / softback Book

Art as Plunder : The Ancient Origins of Debate about Cultural Property Paperback / softback


This book examines the ancient origins of debate about art as cultural property.

What happens to art in time of war? Who should own art, and what is its appropriate context?

Should the victorious ever allow the defeated to keep their art?

These questions were posed by Cicero during his prosecution of a Roman governor of Sicily, Gaius Verres, for extortion.

Cicero's published speeches had a very long afterlife, affecting debates about collecting art in the eighteenth century and reactions to the looting of art by Napoleon.

The focus of the book's analysis is theft of art in Greek Sicily, Verres' trial, Roman collectors of art, and the later impact of Cicero's arguments.

The book concludes with the British decision after Waterloo to repatriate Napoleon's stolen art to Italy and an epilogue on the current threats to art looted from archaeological contexts.


  • Format: Paperback / softback
  • Pages: 442 pages, 4 Maps; 24 Halftones, unspecified
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Forgery, falsification & theft of artworks
  • ISBN: 9780521172905



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