Friday, 24 July 2009

Silvio, Sex and (archaeological) Scandal

I am extremely surprised that the anti-conservationist antiquity dealers' lobby have not picked up on the latest installment of the Silvio Berlusconi sex scandal. This seems just the sort of thing they like. Tapes of intimate conversations between high class escort Patrizia D'Addario and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, 72, are the talk of Italy today - but not because of their racy content. Instead Italians are outraged at the Prime Minister's inadvertent boast in them while showing Ms D'Addario around his Villa Certosa estate on Sardinia of 30 ancient tombs buried under the swimming pool. By law, any discovery of historical significance should have been reported to the Ministry of Culture in Rome and to the local paramilitary police office in charge of cultural heritage, failure to do so can result in a fine of up to 3,000 Euro and or a year in jail - and it would appear that Berlusconi has not reported the existence of the tombs. The opposition Democratic party, which had been looking for a way to embarrass the prime minister without getting immersed in his eventful sex life, was not slow to spot the opening. Representatives in both houses of parliament tabled questions, demanding that Berlusconi and his heritage minister give an explanation. Instead of the artistic photos of Ms D'Addorio in scanty attire which most news services have appendeded to this story [no doubt to show how clever she was to hide the dictaphone dressed like that], I am sure my readers would prefer a photo (from the Daily Mail) of the Villa Certosa.

(compiled from: Archeologiczny wątek nagrań Berlusconiego i prostytutki PAP, 23.07.09; John Hooper, Berlusconi digs himself a bigger hole and claims he found Phoenician tombs Guardian 24 July 2009; Nick Pisa Italians finally outraged over Berlusconi's sex tapes (not the sex, the bit where he reveals the 30 ancient tombs on his estate) Daily Mail 24th July 2009).

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