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Ruling CultureArt Police, Tomb Robbers, and the Rise of Cultural Power in Italy$
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Fiona Greenland

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780226756981

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226757179.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 22 May 2022

The American Price

The American Price

(p.54) Chapter 2 The American Price
Ruling Culture

Fiona Greenland

University of Chicago Press

“The American Price” refers to the buying power of nineteenth century American elites, who stood accused of raiding Italy’s ancestral collections and churches for the aggrandizement of their own cultural prestige. The term became a rallying cry for Italian officials, who built a steady legislative effort to nationalize cultural works with aesthetic and historic interest. The effort involved new restrictions on the international art market and reforms to the national government’s museum service. Concurrently, changes in scholarly activities including professional archaeology and the classification of artifacts conferred epistemic legitimacy on the notion that the country possesses a coherent and discrete body of ancient heritage that is uniquely Italian.

Keywords:   national unification, art markets, nationalization, Giovanni Campana, Augusto Castellani, Paolo Orsi, 1909 heritage law

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