ITALY: Treasure Hunt

After World War II, the Italian government posted 20-ft. watchtowers with searchlights along the watery plains of the Po River delta, set up a special new intelligence corps and dispatched motorized patrols to strategic spots in the hills of central Italy. The time had come, said the government, to break up the booming $8,000,000-a-year black market in Etruscan art objects. Beneath hill and plain lay buried treasure—the vases, statues and coins that the energetic Etruscans had placed in the tombs 25 centuries ago. This was part of the "national patrimony," said the...

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