Plunder, power and prestige

Tomorrow morning, I appear on Start the Week, together with Cynthia Saltzman, who has written a magnificently detailed account of how Napoleon and his army marched through northern Italy, compelling each of the major cities – Milan, Parma, Mantua – to sign treaties compelling them to give up their twenty best works of art to the Louvre (in Rome 100); and Francesco da Mosto, who has the advantage over us in that his ancestor was a Senator at the time that Napoleon arrived in Venice to demand works by Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese, including the Wedding Feast at Cana which was brutally stripped off the wall of the Refectory next door to S. Giorgio Maggiore, rolled up and transported to the Louvre never to return. It makes what Elgin did just a one-off piece of plunder by comparison.


4 thoughts on “Plunder, power and prestige

  1. Daphne Astor says:

    Cynthia Saltzman who is on STW with you is a close childhood friend of mine, we went to school together for years and we’ve stayed in touch – if you have the chance say hello from me. Xdaf

  2. Very enlightening discussion today, and I took lots of notes, which I will Tweet if I have time.

    Your comment on the Schinkel Altes Museum as an intellectual and academic museum model for the new museums in the United States reminded me of the way in which the C19 German university model also influenced and shaped the US approach to education, which I learned about from Peter Drucker:

    The University of Berlin was founded by [educational reformer Wilhelm] von Humboldt to turn the benefits of the French revolution against the French, especially Napoleon. The idea picked up in the US after the Civil War, where the old colleges were dying, and new American universities founded. – Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles by Peter F. Drucker (HarperBusiness, 1985)

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