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The Elgin Affair

The True Story of the Greatest Theft in History

Almost two hundred years after they were “purchased” from Greece, the finest and most famous marbles of antiquity still remain a burning issue. This compelling, controversial story of the Elgin marbles re-creates in full and colorful detail “the greatest art theft in history,” a steamy tale of obsession, intrigue, adultery, and ruin. As the British ambassador to the Sublime Porte in Constantinople, Lord Elgin encountered in his endeavors some of the most famous names of nineteenth-century history: Napoleon, Sultan Selim III, Lord Nelson, Lord Byron, and Keats. Drawing on original source material—letters, diaries, official government reports, and memoranda, Vrettos brilliantly brings to life these fascinating stories.