The emperor of thieves: Napoleon and the pillage of the Italian artistic heritage
Friday, January 15th 18:00 – 20:00 CET
In this two hour introductory lecture we will dive into the sacking suffered by Italy during the Napoleonic rule and how the return of treasures after the commander’s defeat set a model for museums today. Carried out over twenty years, from 1797 until the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Napoleonic looting represents the largest movement of works of art in history.
In Italy in particular, Napoléon’s looting was practically boundless, with the Pope himself being obliged to pay the cost of transporting manuscripts and works of art to Paris. We will also explore the damage done and the (widely violated) treaties such as the Treaty of Tolentino between Revolutionary France and the Papal States, which will be the historical framework that will set into motion the monstrous losses suffered by the Italian states during the various phases of Napoléon’s epic .