Common section


The Ancients

EUPHRONIOS—Leonardo da Vinci of ancient Greece, who twenty-five hundred years ago painted the chalice and matching krater depicting the death of Sarpedon in the Trojan War

SARPEDON—Son of Zeus, killed in battle at Troy and depicted on Euphronios’s chalice and krater

THE PIONEERS—A group of Athens vase painters, including Euphronios, that popularized the red-figure technique found on the Sarpedon chalice and krater

ETRUSCANS—People from an ancient civilization that inhabited lands north of Rome who imported Greek vases and buried them in tombs

The Excavators and Dealers

GIUSEPPE “PEPPE THE CALABRESE” MONTASPRO—Leader of a 1971 clandestine dig of an Etruscan tomb complex in Cerveteri, Italy

FRANCESCO BARTOCCI—Farmer in Cerveteri and lookout at the 1971 excavation

ARMANDO CENERE—Farmhand in Cerveteri and lookout at the 1971 excavation

GIACOMO MEDICI—Roman art dealer who pulled himself up from poverty by supplying antiquities to private collectors and museums

ROBERT HECHT—American antiquities dealer based in Rome, and then Paris, who counted the world’s great museums as his clients

BRUCE MCNALL—Hollywood art dealer and film producer who teamed with Hecht to sell ancient masterpieces

The Curators and Collectors

DIETRICH VON BOTHMER—Metropolitan Museum of Art curator of Greek and Roman art whose career was inspired by a Euphronios vase and who wanted to acquire the Sarpedon chalice to display alongside his museum’s famous, matching krater

THOMAS HOVING—Metropolitan Museum of Art director, 1967–1977, whose purchase of the Sarpedon krater by Euphronios triggered a battle over antiquities

MARION TRUE—J. Paul Getty Museum antiquities curator who studied with von Bothmer and got entangled in the international fight over ancient art

PHILIPPE DE MONTEBELLO—Director of Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977–2008, who faced demands from Italy to return disputed antiquities

BUNKER HUNT—Texas billionaire collector of ancient coins and vases

LEON LEVY AND SHELBY WHITE—Antiquities collectors in New York

The Italian Archaeologists and Investigators

GIUSEPPE PROIETTI—Government archaeologist whose carreer followed the modern paths taken by the most famous vases by Euphronios

MARIO MORETTI—Italy’s chief of Etruscan archaeology during the 1971 clandestine dig in Cerveteri

MARSHAL SALVATORE MORANDO—Policeman in Italian Carabinieri art squad who investigated the international antiquities trade

PAOLO FERRI—Prosecutor at the Rome Tribunal who worked to uncover the crimes of the global traffic in ancient art

MAURIZIO FIORILLI—Lawyer and negotiator for the Italian Culture Ministry who confronted museums and collectors


When not otherwise indicated in the following, details of Giacomo Medici’s life and business dealings come from interviews with Medici, access to his personal files, and from legal documents in his various court cases.

The scene of the looting of the Euphronios krater tomb is based in great part on the author’s June 2008 interview with Francesco Bartocci, the last known surviving member of the tomb-robbing gang. Bartocci drew a diagram of how they conducted the dig and took the author to the dig site. His story corroborates and expands on the 1973 deposition and the New York Times interview given by another accomplice, Armando Cenere, and for the first time gives the precise find spot for the vase from a participant in the dig. The account of the looting and sale of the vase also draws on written intelligence reports that police gathered from confidential informants at the time and stories printed in Italian newspapers. When those accounts conflict with one another, which they often do, the narrative here sticks with the details most consistently reported and those coming from named sources, such as Francesco Bartocci, Robert Hecht, and Giacomo Medici.

Some descriptions of the Euphronios tomb complex and surrounding landscape as it looked at the time are derived from photos taken before, during, and after the two government excavations of the site from 1972 through 1974, as well as scale drawings and measurements published by the state archaeologist, Giuseppe Proietti.

As the following notes show, the account of Thomas Hoving’s purchase of the Euphronios krater for the Met relies on his 1993 memoir, Making the Mummies Dance, and an updated version of that book’s chapter on the purchase, published online in 2001. Hoving’s e-mails to the author are reprinted with Hoving’s permission. Additional details of Hecht’s purchase and sale of the krater, when told from his point of view, come from Hecht’s unpublished eighty-nine-page memoir. The handwritten memoir, which is evidence in Hecht’s and Medici’s trials, has no page numbers. Like other documents cited here, parts were retranslated into English from the court’s Italian version.

Passages from Homer’s Iliad are adapted from two translations, one by Robert Fagles, Viking Penguin, 1990, and the other by Alston Hurd Chase and William G. Perry Jr., Little, Brown, 1950.

Everything written within quotation marks was heard directly by the author, recounted by interview subjects as having been said at the events in question, or taken directly from court documents, written correspondence, books, and articles.


Eight other vases: Beazley Archive database records for vase numbers 187 (krater, Republic of Italy, formerly Metropolitan Museum of Art), 6203 (kylix at Munich Antikensammlungen), 7501 (fragmentary krater, Republic of Italy, formerly Shelby White and Leon Levy in New York), 200064 (krater at Louvre), 200065 (fragments of krater at Louvre), 200078 (psykter at Hermitage), 200080 (kylix at Munich Antikensammlungen), 200081 (fragments of kylix at Athens National Museum).

Hunt 1979 purchase: Bruce McNall interview with author.

Sotheby’s Marion as auctioneer: Georgia Dullea, “At Sotheby’s, the Resident Old Master Is the One Wielding the Hammer,” New York Times, June 22, 1990.

Auction prices and lot descriptions: Sotheby’s, Nelson Bunker Hunt Collection of Highly Important Greek Vases/The William Herbert Hunt Collection of Highly Important Greek, Roman and Etruscan Bronzes (June 19, 1990, Auction catalog) (New York: Sotheby’s); Sotheby’s after sale report.

Auction scene: Author interviews with bidder in Lacoste.

Green sweater: Unpublished photograph of bidder on day of auction, from his private collection.

Met turning down chalice: Thomas Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance: Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993), p. 327.

Symes bidding for Met: Vinnie Nørskov, Greek Vases in New Contexts: The Collecting and Trading of Greek Vases—An Aspect of the Modern Reception of Antiquity (Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus University Press, 2002), p. 330.

“You do not…acquire”: Nørskov, 2002, p. 330.

Met, Louvre hoping to borrow chalice: Author interviews with bidder in Lacoste.

Chalice whereabouts listed “unknown”: Beazley Archive record, vase number 7043.


Greek exports to Etruscans: John Boardman, The Greeks Overseas: Their Early Colonies and Trade, 3rd ed. (London: Thames & Hudson, 1999).

Berlin krater’s origins: Beazley Archive record, vase number 200063.

Von Bothmer’s arrival at Oxford and routine with Beazley: Dietrich von Bothmer, “Beazley the Teacher,” in Beazley and Oxford, Lectures delivered in Wolfson College, Oxford on 28 June 1985, ed. D. Kurtz, 5–17 (Oxford: Oxford University Committee for Archaeology, 1985).

Medici’s place of birth: Street name from Medici interview with author.

Medici’s wartime experience: Author interviews.

Von Bothmer on Queen Mary: U.S. Department of Labor ship’s manifest of alien passengers, June 28, 1939, p. 13.

Von Bothmer’s education: James Mellow, “A New (6th Century B.C.) Greek Vase for New York,” New York Times Magazine, November 12, 1972. Dictionary of Art Historians,

Von Bothmer’s military service: National Archives and Records Administration, U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938–1946, via

Von Bothmer’s wounding and heroics: Mellow, “Greek Vase for New York.”

Von Bothmer’s citizenship: Dictionary of Art Historians,

Von Bothmer’s promotion and Hoving’s hiring: “Von Bothmer Gets New Museum Post,” New York Times, July 2, 1959.

Hoving’s father controlling Tiffany: “BAM 100,” Brown Alumni Magazine, November–December 2000.

Hoving’s education: Thomas Hoving, King of the Confessors: A New Appraisal (Christchurch, New Zealand: Cybereditions, 2001), pp. 12–13.

Hoving Meets Hecht in 1956: Hoving interview with author.

Medici’s electrician degree: School alumni office.

Medici’s army service and digging on base: Medici interview with author, October 26, 2007.

Pesciotti as Medici client: Medici interviews with author and Hecht’s memoir, 2001.


Hecht’s education, postwar activities: Interview with author, May 31, 2006.

Hecht and Medici’s first meeting and dealings: Hecht’s memoir, 2001.

Hecht’s smuggling charges: Italian Supreme Court decision absolving Hecht, October 16, 1978.

“B.H. ’68.”: Muntoni sentence of Medici, 2005.

Regolini-Galassi tomb: Mario Moretti, Cerveteri (Novara: Istituto Geografico de Agostini, 1978); Giuseppe Proietti, Cerveteri (Rome: Edizioni Quasar, 1986); and

Oxen plowing: Wendy Moonan, “Auctioning Antiquities Collected by an Ancestor,” New York Times, October 14, 2005.

Discovery and sales of first Euphronios vases: Dietrich von Bothmer, “The Subject Matter of Euphronios,” in Euphronios Peintre: Rencontres de l’Ecole du Louvre, 13–32 (Paris: La Documentation Française, 1992).

Louvre, Hermitage purchase dates: Euphronios peintre a Athenes au VIe siecle avant J.-C. (Paris: Editions de la Reunion des musees nationaux, 1990).

Proietti’s university: Résumé provided by his office.

Medici using Oxford tests: Medici interview with author.

House calls: Vernon Silver, “Tomb-Robbing Trials Name Getty, Metropolitan, Princeton Museums,” Bloomberg News, October 31, 2005.

Haunting of Sant’Angelo: “Scoperta dai CC. a Cerveteri una favolosa tomba regale,” and “A Cerveteri Scoperta La Tomba Del Vaso Di Eufronio,” Il Messaggero, September 5, 1974; also “Il diavolo degli etruschi è riemerso dalla sua tomba,” Il Tempo,September 5, 1974, p. 6.

Tomb-robbing scene: See introductory remarks on sources at start of Notes section.

Cenere’s background, time at the dig, fragment he saw: Nicholas Gage, “Farmhand Tells of Finding Met’s Vase in Italian Tomb,” New York Times, February 25, 1973, pp. 1, 50.


Apartment on Rome’s Via Francesco Crispi: Medici alluded to this scenario and address during a lunch interview in Rome on October 26, 2007, and then when he saw the author writing it down said, “Forget you heard that.” He later denied the account.

Price Medici paid for krater: Estimated from best information in Carabinieri reports from confidential informants, early 1970s.

Meeting at tombarolo’s house: Carabinieri art squad report by its commander, Colonel Felice Mambor, to the prosecuting judge, Sica.

Medici’s visit to Hecht, sale of krater, and related travel: Hecht’s memoir.

“Is this for real?”: Hecht’s memoir.

Le Colline Pistoiesi for lunch: Hecht’s memoir.

Le Colline Pistoiesi mentioned in trial: Court sentence,

Hecht’s efforts to raise money and sell krater: Hecht’s memoir.

Hoving’s negotiations and purchase of krater (including quotations and texts of letters and affidavits): Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, and “Super Art Gems of New York City: The Hot Pot (Parts I–VI),” On Artnet, 2001,

Hoving’s hiring: “Von Bothmer Gets New Museum Post,” New York Times, July 2, 1959.

“If something…effort?”: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 308.

Finance police excavation: Giovanni Colonna, “Scavi e scoperti Cerveteri,” in Studi Etruschi XLI, p. 540 and tables CXII and CXIII (Florence: Istituto Nazionale di Studi Etruschi e Italici, 1973).

Items recovered by finance police: Richard Walter, “$1m Vase: Magistrate Goes to Looted Tomb,” The Observer, March 4, 1973.

Found a statue of a lion: “Tulchulca veglia ancora sulle tombe degli Etruschi,” Il Tempo, September 6, 1974.

Sphinx recovered by finance police and February date and location: “A Cerveteri Scoperta La Tomba Del Vaso Di Eufronio,” Il Messaggero, September 5, 1974.

“Regarding p. 14…begin”: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 309.

Bürki gluing vase: Hecht’s memoir.

“hidden underground”: Ministry of Public Instruction notice, March 30, 1972.

“The Met…of this”: Hecht’s memoir.

Von Bothmer’s marriage: George Gurley, “I Am Charlotte Bocly,” New York Observer, October 22, 2006.

Hecht’s visit with von Bothmer and family: Hecht’s memoir.

“Hundreds…just drawn”: Hoving, “The Hot Pot,” Part I.

“Dietrich…me”: Hoving, “The Hot Pot,” Part I.

Euphronios’s times: Ministero Per I Bene Culturale Ambientali, Capolavori di Euphronios: Un Pioniere della Ceramografia Attica (Arezzo: Museo Archeologico Nazionale, 1990), introduction.

Kerameikos: John Boardman, The History of Greek Vases: Potters, Painters, and Pictures. (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2001), p. 139.

Pioneers: Boardman, History of Greek Vases, pp. 83–87.

Euphronios biography: Boardman, History of Greek Vases, p. 139.

Process of the decorating vases: Joseph Veach Noble, “The Making of a Greek Vase,” in The Greek Vase, ed. Stephen L. Hyatt, 1–21 (Latham, NY: Hudson-Mohawk Association of Colleges & Universities, 1981).

A boy, probably an apprentice…: A scene of an Athenian potter’s shop is painted on a black-figured hydria by the Painter of the Leagros Group, found in the Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptotek in Munich, reproduced in Noble as Figure 19.

Additional details of potting and painting: A scene of an Athenian vase workshop is painted on a red-figured hydria by the Leningrad Painter, found in the Torno collection, Milan, reproduced in Noble as Figure 18.

Greek kilns…: A kiln predating Euphronios’s time is depicted on a Corinthian black-figure plaque of a potter stoking a kiln, found in the Berlin museum, reproduced in Noble as Figure 24.

June 27, 1972, date of seeing the krater in Zurich: “A Second Work by Master of Vase Comes to Light,” New York Times, February 24, 1973, p. 15.

“Dietrich…is it?”: Hoving, “The Hot Pot,” Part I.

“No figure…image”: Hoving, “The Hot Pot,” Part II.

“This was…encountered”: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 312.

“Sublime!”: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 312.

“My Finnish…Beirut”: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 314.

Coins sold for $2.3 million: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 316.

“If you…my 1.3”: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 316.

“For appearances’…near-sexual pleasure”: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 318.

Hecht’s celebratory meal, krater’s airline tickets, and seat: Hecht’s memoir.

TWA flight number 831 and value of vase declared with U.S. Customs at $1 million: Nicholas Gage, “How the Metropolitan Acquired ‘The Finest Greek Vase There Is,’” New York Times, February 19, 1973, pp. 1, 32.

Customs agent admiring the vase and its declared value: Nicholas Gage, “Never Saw Vase Intact, Beirut Dealer Says,” New York Times, February 22, 1973, pp. 1, 28.

“I’m going to…Rembrandt”: Hecht’s memoir.

“I bet…exist”: Hecht’s memoir.

Hecht’s tennis trip: Hecht’s memoir.

Name and location of Lew Hoad’s tennis camp in Fuengirola: Richard Walter and Peter Deeley, “The Million-Dollar Vase…the Men Who Sold It to the Met…and Where It May Have Come From,” The Observer, February 25, 1973, pp. 1–2.

September 12 date of Met committee meeting, and eight of the eleven members being present: David L. Shirey, “Dillon, Metropolitan President, Terms Vase Purchase ‘Legal’,” New York Times, March 1, 1973, p. 55.

“well-known art dealer”: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 319.

No committee members asked questions, Sulzberger’s interest: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 320.

“I don’t…magazine”: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 320.

Met’s payment to Hecht and currency: Hecht’s memoir.

Ultraviolet test and timing of Oxford authentication in late September: “A Second Work by Master of Vase Comes to Light,” New York Times, February 24, 1973, p. 15.

Oxford’s dates for krater and testing by Fleming: Hecht’s memoir.

Hoving thought…“snicker”: Hoving, “The Hot Pot,” Part III.

Today Show transcript: Karl E. Meyer, The Plundered Past (New York: Atheneum, 1973), appendix.

Dates and details of Cerveteri land purchase: Medici and Bruno’s filings with the Ministry of Public Instruction, January 19, 1974, and November 10, 1974.


Two factions at AIA meeting: David L. Shirey, “Von Bothmer Quits Archaeology Unit,” New York Times, May 2, 1973, p. 36.

Rodney Young…asked: James R. McCredie e-mail to author, March 6, 2008.

Young excavated at Gordion:

“The grave robbers hear…despoliation of tombs”: Shirey, “Von Bothmer Quits,” p. 36.

“They don’t like me…And I don’t like him”: Shirey, “Von Bothmer Quits,” p. 36.

“He was angry for years”: James R. McCredie e-mail to author, March 6, 2008.

Italians learning of and trying to find cup: Nicholas Gage, “2 Inquiries Begun,” New York Times, February 20, 1973, pp. 1, 19.

Date of Hecht questioning by Carabinieri: “Italian Inquiry on Vase Said to Identify a Thief,” New York Times, February 23, 1973, pp. 1, 22.

Colonel Felice Mambo called Bob Hecht’s home: David L. Shirey, “Hecht Backs Vase Sale; Will Avoid Italy for Now,” New York Times, February 28, 1973, pp. 1, 34.

“capolavoro,” “had never been seen,” and “I’ve never seen…thing”: Hecht’s memoir.

Dialogue in Hecht’s sales pitch of kylix to Hoving: Author interview with Hoving.

February 14, 1973, date of Observer’s recorded interview with Hoving: “Seller of Greek Vase Flew to See Hoving Last Week,” New York Times, February 26, 1973, p. 1.

Hoving wondered…microphone: Hoving e-mail to author, May 16, 2006.

“Funny thing is…give it to us”: John L. Hess, The Grand Acquisitors (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974), pp. 164–65, and Italian consular cable of intercepted conversation.

Von Bothmer interview with Observer: Walter and Deeley, “The Million-Dollar Vase,” and full transcript in Hess, Grand Acquisitors, pp. 165–66.

Gage’s reporting trail and dinner with Hecht: Hess, Grand Acquisitors, pp. 153–54.

“Hot Pot”: Hoving, “The Hot Pot,” Part III.

“red figured crater which I have had so long”: David L. Shirey, “Seller of the Greek Vase Is Named by Met Curator,” New York Times, February 21, 1973, pp. 1, 34.

“He came to tell me”: Gage, “Never Saw Vase Intact, pp. 1, 28.

Commander steamed: “Italian Inquiry on Vase Said to Identify a Thief,” New York Times, February 23, 1973, pp. 1, 22.

“Hanno le…Bene”: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 328.

“sadly and wearily,” and interview with von Bothmer: Hess, Grand Acquisitors, 1974, p. 164; and John L. Hess, “A Second Work by Master of Vase Comes to Light,” New York Times, February 24, 1973, p. 15.

Gage’s meeting with Cenere: Hess, Grand Acquisitors, pp. 161–62; and Gage, “Farmhand Tells of Finding Met’s Vase,” pp. 1, 50.

Prosecutor and Carabinieri search for tomb, covered with nine feet of soil, on February 25, 1973: “Si chiarisce il ‘giallo’ del Metropolitan. Il Vaso Greco FuTrovato Da 4 Tombaroli,” Il Messaggero, February 26, 1973, pp. 1, 13.

FBI and the New York Police Department jumped into the probe, interrogating von Bothmer: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, p. 331. Also Nicholas Gage, “Italians Seek F.B.I. Aid on a Greek Cup,” New York Times, March 2, 1973, p. 42.

But where was it?…since: David L. Shirey, “F.B.I. and Police Here Begin Inquiry on Met Vase,” New York Times, February 27, 1973, pp. 1, 29.

“I want to see…the belt”: Shirey, “Hecht Backs Vase Sale,” pp. 1, 34.

On March 1,…: Gage, “Italians Seek F.B.I. Aid,” p. 42.

Hoving wondered about his strange look…: Hoving e-mail to author, May 16, 2006.

“wanted to get rid of”: “Fragments Found in Italy Linked to Museum Vase,” New York Times, May 8, 1973, pp. 1, 36.

As long as a pack of cigarettes: “Italian Police Sources Describe Fragments Linked to Met Vase,” New York Times, May 9, 1973, p. 38.

Medici’s questioning by Carabinieri: Medici interview with author, October 24, 2007.

Letter with fifteen fragments: “New Vase Fragments Believed Move to Hinder Italian Inquiry,” New York Times, May 15, 1973, p. 28.

Purchase of Cerveteri land: Medici interview with author, June 20, 2006.

Hecht’s arrest warrant: Nicholas Gage, “Warrant Issued for Hecht in Vase Sale,” New York Times, June 26, 1973, pp. 1, 54.

Roberto’s trip: Medici interview with author, November 5, 2005.

“We’ll be…about us”: “Due Commercianti Di Anticaglie Di Porta Portese. Spariti da 12 giorni. La loro autho trovata bruciata,” Il Messaggero, September 8, 1973, p. 1.

“The trade…intersect”: “Due Commercianti Di Anticaglie Di Porta Portese,” p. 1.

Identity of Turin merchant as Bruno, contact in Taranto as Basile, and Bruno’s emissary as Chiselna; deal being for important antiquity: Medici interview with author, January 25, 2008.

Roberto Medici’s wife informed about burned car: “Al colloquio con i parenti dei due scomparsi,” Il Messaggero, September 8, 1973, p. 5.

“All the area targeted…Etruscan objects,” Civitavecchia, and other details of the investigation into the disappearance: “Il mistero dei due scomparsi a Roma. Li ahnno visti prima e dopo l’incendio dell’auto,” Il Messaggero, Sunday, September 9, 1973, pp. 1, 5.

Speculation of krater link to disappearance: Medici interview with author, May 31, 2006.

Promotion of von Bothmer, hiring of Montebello: “New Appointments Announced by the Metropolitan Museum,” New York Times, September 18, 1973.

Montebello biography:

Getty ransom: “Minus One Ear,” Time, December 24, 1973.

Cerveteri land purchase, boar: Medici and Bruno’s filings with the Ministry of Public Instruction, January 19 and November 10, 1974.

Registered letter: Medici interview with author, June 20, 2006.


Met’s in-house investigation: Hoving, “The Hot Pot,” Part V.

Fragments not fitting: Paul Hofmann, “Italians Say Fragments Are Not from Met Vase,” New York Times, January 17, 1974, p. 47.

Carabinieri visited Met with fragments: Hoving e-mail to author.

McNall’s start and career: Bruce McNall and Michael D’Antonio, Fun While It Lasted: My Rise and Fall in the Land of Fame and Fortune (New York: Hyperion, 2003).

McNall at the Bern auction, meeting Hecht and Medici: McNall and D’Antonio, Fun While It Lasted, pp. 25–29.

“Giacomo” with Ugo was Medici: Interviews with Medici, January 17, 2007, and McNall, December 20, 2007.

Medici’s trip to World Cup, sale of Sabina in Munich: Medici interview with author, October 18, 2006.

“We saw it…clandestine digging”: Medici interview with author, June 20, 2006.

Hogs dug up statues: Medici interview with author, January 25, 2008.

Proietti winning 1973 competition: Résumé provided by his office.

Official excavation of Medici’s land: “Scoperta dai CC. a Cerveteri una favolosa tomba regale,” and “A Cerveteri Scoperta La Tomba Del Vaso Di Eufronio,” Il Messaggero, September 5, 1974.

During the night…24-hour presence: Eric Salerno ‘ “Inestimabile’ Il Valore Della Statua Di Tuchulca,” Il Messaggero, September 6, 1974, p. 5.

Entitled to 25 percent: Salerno, ‘ “Inestimabile’ Il Valore Della Statua Di Tuchulca,” p. 5.

“Either in…this complex”: Salerno, ‘ “Inestimabile’ Il Valore Della Statua Di Tuchulca,” p. 5.

Tomb site contents: Giuseppe Proietti, “Scave e scoperte—Cerveteri (Una volta a conci radiali nella necropoli monumentale di S. Angelo),” in Studi Etruschi XLV, 443–45 (Florence: Istituto Nazionale di Studi Etruschi e Italici, 1977).

First they found two statues: Salerno, ‘ “Inestimabile’ Il Valore Della Statua Di Tuchulca,” p. 5.

Twin of sphinx: “A Cerveteri Scoperta La Tomba Del Vaso Di Eufronio,” Il Messaggero, September 5, 1974.

Two phallic tombstones: “In una tomba etrusca il demone degli inferi,” Paese Sera, September 5, 1974, p. 6.

Haunting of Sant’Angelo, reaction of workers to demon: “Scoperta dai CC. a Cerveteri una favolosa tomba regale,” and “A Cerveteri Scoperta La Tomba Del Vaso Di Eufronio,” Il Messaggero, September 5, 1974. Also “Il diavolo degli etruschi è riemerso dalla sua tomba,” Il Tempo, September 5, 1974, p. 6.

Carabinieri sources said krater looted from a minor tomb in complex: Salerno, ‘ “Inestimabile’ Il Valore Della Statua Di Tuchulca,” p. 5.

“Since the last century…of vases,” and date range of fragments: “Forse non raffigura Tuchulcha la statua recuperata a Cerveteri,” Il Momento Sera, September 11–12, 1974, p. 4.

Moretti theory of tombs used as nineteenth-century warehouses: Gianni Sarrocco, “Il demone Tuchulca spinge alla guerra,” Giornale D’Italia, September 12, 1974, p. 4.

“Nothing would…two centuries earlier”: Sarrocco, “Il demone Tuchulca spinge alla guerra,” p. 4.

Contained other tombs that were older: “Forse non raffigura Tuchulcha la statua recuperata a Cerveteri,” p. 4.

Hoving handing Tut objects: Thomas Hoving, “In Defense of King Tut,” Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2005.

Tut’s U.S. Navy transport: I. E. S. Edwards, Treasures of Tutankhamun (New York: Ballantine, 1976), p. 8.

Hoving’s rebuke, resignation: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance, pp. 421–23.

Sarrafian killed: Peter Watson and Cecilia Todeschini, The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities from Italy’s Tomb Raiders to the World’s Great Museums (New York: Public Affairs, 2006), p. xviii.

Newman’s testimony and case dropped: Hoving, Making the Mummies Dance; and “The Hot Pot.”

Medici closing Rome shop in 1978: Medici interview with author, October 18, 2006.

“Looking at dead Sarpedon…immortality”: von Bothmer, “The Death of Sarpedon,” in Hyatt, The Greek Vase, pp. 79–80.

McNall starting Summa, deals with Getty’s Frel: McNall and D’Antonio, Fun While It Lasted, pp. 43–45.

McNall and Hunt meeting: McNall and D’Antonio, Fun While It Lasted, pp. 51–54.

“Jewish conspiracy”: McNall and D’Antonio, Fun While It Lasted, p. 53.

Hunt attempt to corner silver market: McNall and D’Antonio, Fun While It Lasted, p. 67; and Dolores Barclay, “For Hunts, parting with silver help saves the day,” Associated Press in Dallas Morning News, March 30, 1990.

Sale of vases to Hunt, prices, shipping, etc.: McNall interviews with author, November 14 and December 20, 2007.

Arrival of vases at Getty: Curator Karol Wight e-mail to author, January 29, 2008.


Robertson publishing the vases: Martin Robertson, “Euphronios at the Getty,” in The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 9 (1981): 23–24.

Departure of vases from Getty: Curator Karol Wight e-mail to author, January 29, 2008.

Itinerary of Hunt exhibit: Sotheby’s, Nelson Bunker Hunt Collection of Highly Important Greek Vases/The William Herbert Hunt Collection of Highly Important Greek, Roman and Etruscan Bronzes.

Purchase and trade of the hydria: Medici interview with author, December 20, 2005.

Hydria general history: Boardman, The Greeks Overseas, pp. 203–6.

Euphronios’s failing eyesight: Boardman, The History of Greek Vases, p. 149.

Onesimos-Euphronios purchase by Getty: Muntoni sentence and Getty acquisition records.

Why Medici took a Swiss-based partner: Medici interview with author, January 3, 2006.

Medici, agent for Koutoulakis, sold hydria to Getty’s Frel: Medici interview with author, December 20, 2005.

Price and invoice for hydria: September 26, 1983, invoice from Hydra Galerie.

Good client of Sotheby’s: Deposition of Oliver Francis James Forge, who worked in the auction house’s London antiquities department from 1980 through 1997.

“In keeping…eminent authority”: Nicholson’s February 19, 1999, deposition in Medici’s case.

Provenance of twenty plates: Medici interview with author, November 5, 2005.

Gallery opening: Photos of event in Medici’s private collection.

Burglary details: May 26, 1986, statement made at the San Felice Circeo police station by Alessandra de Marchi.

Torre Paola history and appearance: and

Sotheby’s London antiquities chief calls man at Editions: Guglielmo Muntoni, Sentenza…nei confronti di Giacomo Medici, etc. (Rome Tribunal Judge’s written sentence following his December 13, 2004, conviction of Giacomo Medici on charges of conspiracy and the smuggling and handling of stolen antiquities). Deposited at the Tribunale di Roma on May 12, 2005, p. 20.

Hydra Galerie inventory: Paolo Ferri in the transcript of the June 20, 2001, deposition of Marion True at the Getty.

“Bob, let’s make a contract…”: Medici interview with author, December 20, 2005.

Itinerary and details of Medici’s trip: Medici interviews with author.

Rolls-Royce belonged to McNall: McNall, interview with author, said he probably loaned the car and driver to Hecht and Medici.

Hecht getting around in taxis: McNall interview with author.


Questioning of Jacques: June 2, 1987, declaration to the police.

Hunt silver purchases, losses, debts, and bankruptcy: Dolores Barclay, “For Hunts, Parting with Silver Helps Save Day,” Associated Press in Dallas Morning News, March 30, 1990.

Announcement of Hunt auction: “Sotheby’s to Auction the Hunts’ Antiquities,” New York Times, November 23, 1989.

“I hate…enjoy them”: Barclay, “For Hunts, Parting with Silver,”.

“We are…frenzy”: Mark Tatge, “Coin collectors gathering in NY for auction of Hunts’ antiquities,” Dallas Morning News, June 19, 1990.

Since 1841: Dietrich von Bothmer, “The Subject Matter of Euphronios,” in Euphronios Peintre: Rencontres de l’Ecole du Louvre (Paris: La Documentation Française, 1992), pp. 13–32.

Mazur’s auction preview tour: Suzan Mazur, “The Sotheby’s (Pre Auction) Euphronios Transcript,”, January 11, 2006,; and author’s correspondence with Mazur.

Green Lacoste, vases spotlighted under glass: Photo from Medici’s private collection taken before the auction in the Sotheby’s showroom.

Robert Guy’s jobs at Princeton and Oxford: Cornelius C. Vermeule (book review of Brunilde S. Ridgway, et al., 1994. Greek Sculpture in the Art Museum, Princeton University, Greek Originals, Roman Copies and Variants) in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 95.02.06.

Hecht, Becchina, and Levy’s seating at auction: Medici interview with author, January 3, 2006, and January 30, 2007.

Seating of Medici family members, Symes, and Michelides: Medici interview with author.

Bids from telephone and room: Medici interview with author, January 30, 2007.

Medici and Symes bid for fragmentary krater: Medici interview with author, July 28, 2006.

“Giacomo…at an auction”: Medici interview with author, November 19, 2005.

“We want to buy it”: Medici interview with author, July 28, 2006.

Von Bothmer wanted to give “a little bonus”: Medici interview with author, January 30, 2007.

Von Bothmer furious with Medici: Medici interview with author, July 5, 2006.

June 25, 1990, resale of fragmentary krater to Levy: Muntoni, 2005 sentence of Medici.

Louvre calling Medici: Medici interview with author, January 3, 2006.

Louvre curator’s offer and timing of Sotheby’s shipment: Medici interview with author, September 13, 2007.

Von Bothmer retiring and endowment of new job: Vernon Silver, “Met’s Antiquities Case Shows Donor, Trustee Ties to Looted Art,” Bloomberg News, February 23, 2006.

Levy and White lending fragmentary krater to Met in 1999: Placard next to vase at Met, accession number L.1999.36.1, photographed by author December 2005.

Details of Medici’s trip to Louvre: Medici interview with author, September 13, 2007.

Publication of big kylix: Dyfri Williams, “Onesimos and the Getty Iliupersis,” in Greek Vases in the J. Paul Getty Museum Volume 5, 41–64 (Malibu: J. P. Getty Museum, 1991).

Rizzo’s report: Maria Antonietta Rizzo, “Gli Scavi Clandestini a Cerveteri (1982-94),” in Antichita Senza Provenienza, Atti della Tavola Rotonda, American Academy in Rome, 18 febbraio 1995 (Rome: Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali, 1995), pp. 15–50.

“The appearance…millennia”: Rizzo, “Gli Scavi Clandestini a Cerveteri,” p. 25.

“Colleagues…collecting”: Rizzo, “Gli Scavi Clandestini a Cerveteri,” p. 28.


Medici’s gallery supplied Apulian vases for July 1985 Sotheby’s sale: Peter Watson, Sotheby’s: Inside Story (London: Bloomsbury, 1997), p. 183.

“worth millions”…“we had left our recorder running”: Watson, Sotheby’s: Inside Story, p. 188.

Medici and family at hotel on the Costa Smerelda when colleague called: Medici interview with author, October 24, 2007.

Medici’s January 17, 1997, arrest and jailing: Medici interview with author, April 1, 2008.

Rizzo delivering two papers: Maria Antonietta Rizzo, “La coppa con Iliupersis al J. P. Getty Museum di Malibu con dedica ad Hercle ed il santuario di Hercle a Cerveteri: storia di una ricontestualizzazione,” pp. 65–70, and “La coppa di Euphronios ed Onesimos,” pp. 71–83, in Antichita Senza Provenienza II, Atti del Internazionale, Viterbo—Palazzo del Rettorato, 17–18 ottobre 1997 (Rome: Ministero per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali, 1997).

Rizzo confronting True and True returning cup: Hugh Eakin, “Treasure Hunt: The Downfall of the Getty Curator Marion True,” in The New Yorker, December 17, 2007, p. 71.

October 27, 1997, Latina court transfers case to Rome: Muntoni sentence of Medici, 2005, p. 6.

Free Port raid details: Alain Baudin, Rapporto Baudin, September 20, 1995. Unpublished police report.

They placed the bags on Shelf 2: Italian inventory in court records.

Ferri’s biography: Watson and Todeschini, The Medici Conspiracy, pp. 23–24.

Ferri’s December 18, 1997, visit to Free Port: Carabinieri report dated December 23, 1997, by Marshals Morando and Dell’Avvocato.

Experts at Free Port inspection: July 15, 1998, memo signed by participants, in Medici’s case file.

True going to Italy for return: Eakin, “Treasure Hunt,” p. 71.

Medici discovers cup is shattered: October 22, 1999, letter from his lawyer Henri Nanchen to Chancelier d’etat Robert Hensler.

Dialog and action in Medici’s return of fragments to Ferri’s office: Medici interview with author, December 29, 2007.

Police had stored the objects terribly…“Where is the Euphronios kylix?” and the description of Medici’s visit to warehouse: Medici interview with author, December 29, 2007.

Pellegrini’s role: Muntoni sentence of Medici, 2005, and author interviews with Pellegrini.

“If I had…found them”: Author interview with Medici.

Fate of objects seized in Geneva: Muntoni sentence of Medici, 2005, and author interviews with Medici.


Hermitage Rooms…“of course”: Hoving, “The Hot Pot.”

“That’s a figment…krater”: Author interview with Hecht.

Details of raid on Hecht’s home: Watson and Todeschini, The Medici Conspiracy, pp. 157–61, and author interview with Marshal Salvatore Morando.

Hecht’s passport found at Bürki’s house: Trial testimony.

Photo of Euphronios krater on Bürki’s desk and date of raid: Watson and Todeschini, The Medici Conspiracy, pp. 185–87.

Symes saying he bought bronze eagle: Muntoni sentence of Medici, 2005.

February 26, 2003, decision in Lot 540 case: Ruling of Judge Gallucci of the Rome Tribunal and the Rome Court of Appeals verdict of that decision’s appeal, April 14, 2005.

Sarcophagus fragment and other items in conviction: Muntoni sentence, 2005, pp. 519, 556–57, 645.

Medici and Ferri’s seating in courtroom, timing of verdict, and taking of Medici’s passport: Medici interview with author, January 30, 2007.

“The ministry’s objective…commerce”: Interview with author.


“The nub…does.”: Vernon Silver, “Tomb-Robbing Trials Name Getty, Metropolitan, Princeton Museums,” Bloomberg News, October 31, 2005.

Medici’s anguish, change of mood: Author interviews with Medici.

Description of Medici’s house: Based on a visit by the author.

Medici dissecting evidence against him: Interview with author, Rome, November 29, 2005.

Return of three Getty objects: “Vase Seized by ICE From Getty Museum Returned to Italy,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement news release, November 20, 2005; and Vernon Silver, “Three ‘Illicit’ Antiquities From Getty Museum Returned to Italy,” Bloomberg News, November 10, 2005.

Number and nature of objects Swiss turned over to Italy: Muntoni sentence, 2005.

Trucking of antiquities to Rome: Author interviews with Medici.

Temple of Alatri’s history: The Villa Giulia National Etruscan Museum: Short Guide, ed. Anna Maria Moretti Sgubini (Rome: L’ERMA di Bretschneider and Ingegneria per la Cultura, 2001), p. 79.

Medici’s efforts to see kylix, and his visit to Villa Giulia: Author interviews with Medici and copies of the requests he sent.

Assessment of condition and value of broken kylix: Author interviews with Medici.


Medici’s medical condition and efforts to negotiate: Author interviews with Medici.

Italy sent Met evidence on January 12, 2006: Vernon Silver and Stephen West, “Metropolitan Museum Offers to Return 20 Disputed Works to Italy,” Bloomberg News, February 2, 2006.

“Incontrovertible evidence”: Elisabetta Povoledo, “The Met May Settle with Italy,” New York Times, November 24, 2005.

“I thought…worried”: Vernon Silver, “Met Museum’s Talks with Italy on Disputed Art Sour, Lawyer Says,” Bloomberg News, January 27, 2006.

“Equivalent beauty and importance”: Silver and West, “Metropolitan Museum Offers to Return 20 Disputed Works to Italy.”

“nationalism and misplaced patriotism…vases in Rome”: Deborah Solomon, “Stolen Art? Questions for Philippe de Montebello,” New York Times Magazine, February 19, 2006.


Object X: Medici interview with author, September 20, 2006.

“The valuation is ridiculous”: Medici interview with author, September 20, 2006.

October 5, 2006, meeting with Getty lawyer: Deal Points memo, Meeting of October 5, 2006, Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage (MiBAC) and the Legal Representatives of the J. Paul Getty Trust (JPG Trust).

Getty paying $18 million in 1988: Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino, “The Getty’s troubled goddess,” Los Angeles Times, January 3, 2007, p.1.

White signing over krater in November 2007: Interview with White’s attorney Antonio Lirosi, March 29, 2008.

“If you go to Sotheby’s…inappropriate”: Rebecca Mead, “Den of Antiquity: The Met defends its treasures,” The New Yorker, April 9, 2007, p. 60.

On grand piano: Interview with visitor to White’s home.

McNall’s guilty plea: “Sports Executive Enters Guilty Plea,” New York Times, December 15, 1994.

McNall’s prison experience: McNall and D’Antonio, Fun While It Lasted, pp. 237, 284.

“He told me…from Giacomo”: McNall interview with author, December 20, 2007.

Krater’s final days at Met and transport: Author interviews with Fiorilli, Morando, and other participants.


Medici home with flu: Medici interview with author.

Morando touching krater: Morando interview with author.

Bile’s age:

Bile presiding three days earlier: Sentenza 72/2008, Constitutional Court of Italy, public hearing of January 15, 2008, sentence deposited March 28, 2008.

Homer passage: The Iliad, Book 16, lines 672–82, translation adapted from Fagles 1990.


“They’re gone…era.”: Author interview, December 19, 2005.

“VN: What…Medici”: Nørskov, Greek Vases in New Contexts, p. 330.

Divorce: Medici interview with author.

Medici’s identity card issued: Card, with issuance date, seen by author.

Medici obtaining passport: Medici interview with author.

“How much…on the vase”: Randy Kennedy and Hugh Eakin, “Met Chief, Unbowed, Defends Museum’s Role,” New York Times, February 28, 2006.

Feast analysis: “King Midas Feast,” news release, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, September 12, 2000.

One Italian tomb raider’s statistics: Watson and Todeschini, The Medici Conspiracy, pp. 267–68.

Statistics from 2006 and 2007: Attivita Operativa 2007, Rome: Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale, 2008.

Statistics from 2008: Attivita Operativa 2008 (Rome: Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale, 2009).

Sotheby’s auction data: Author’s doctoral thesis research, University of Oxford, compiled from Based on prices paid for 2,657 lots sold from December 2000 through December 2008, compared with the average of the high and low estimate Sotheby’s published for each lot.

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