Art Crime pp 229-239 | Cite as

Polaroids from the Medici Dossier: Continued Sightings on the Market

  • David W. J. Gill
  • Christos Tsirogiannis


The 1995 raids on the Geneva Freeport premises of Giacomo Medici have had a profound impact on the collecting of and dealing in antiquities.1 The set of Polaroids seized during the raids (“the Medici Dossier”) has allowed objects that had passed through the hands of Medici to be identified. Fractured, salt-encrusted and mud-covered objects were shown as they appeared to have emerged from the ground and before they passed into the hands of expert conservators who prepared them for sale. The unravelling of the story has become known as the “Medici Conspiracy.”2 The photographic evidence has brought about the voluntary return of objects from a range of prominent North American museums: Boston’s Museum of Fine Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Princeton University Art Museum.3 To these may be added a selection of objects from the Royal-Athena Galleries in New York, and items from the Shelby White (and the late Leon Levy) collection.4


Auction House Photographic Evidence Metropolitan Museum Private Collector Voluntary Return 


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  3. V. Silver. The Lost Chalice: The epic hunt for a Priceless Masterpiece (New York: William Morrow 2009).Google Scholar
  4. 3.
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Copyright information

© David W.J. Gill and Christos Tsirogiannis 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David W. J. Gill
  • Christos Tsirogiannis

There are no affiliations available

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