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Ruling Culture – Art Police, Tomb Robbers, and the Rise of Cultural Power in Italy - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Ruling Culture: Art Police, Tomb Robbers, and the Rise of Cultural Power in Italy

Fiona Greenland


Through much of its history, Italy was Europe’s heart of the arts, an artistic playground for foreign élites and powers who bought, sold, and sometimes plundered millions of Italian artworks and antiquities. Today, Italy asserts control over its cultural heritage through an activist model and sophisticated art police unit, which dedicates itself to the eradication of tomb robbing. Italy has turned heritage into patrimony capital—a powerful and controversial convergence of art, money, and politics. Ruling Culture traces how Italy came to wield such extensive legal authority, global power, and c ... More

Keywords: cultural power, Italy, antiquities, looting, art police, art market, sociology, nationalism, cultural intimacy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780226756981
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2021 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226757179.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Fiona Greenland, author
University of Virginia