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Voices of Europe produced and recorded by Milton Mayer in cooperation with the University of Chicago under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters on this program Milton Mayer will conduct three interviews on famous European treasuries. The first interview is in Pisa Italy the second in Brussels Belgium and the third in Milan Italy and now Milton Mayer. I am most fortunate they're with me here and away from the campus where of course you know like great connection is to be had that beamed out of the cathedral of Pisa Barthold the Ricardo Dunbar thought He does not speak English. But Signora Bolla a public school teacher of English here and PSA most certainly does. When you are very Sammy I have come to peace to
rescue a bit of history. This was during the occupation of Pisa by the Germans during the Second World War and the American forces were attacking the Germans in the city and perhaps we should begin by your telling us what the convo Zendo is a compass some don't need to get a compass something meaning in one thing anxiety and it was a biggie getting killed in the battle there. The count goes on. Is 13 century cemetery the words being a sacred feel. Now he's being represented by the vanity of sides and what Hangal and exact one thing begin at is the
head the one sign it in warm and the other side. We know how many windows mean columns and one columns various men got out of their way through phone with some police. These again it is well guarded by things because we could be done today. We don't. Unfortunately we were there for an injury and to the best of our. And you can kind of like immediately. Yes and the beginning of getting a sound where headwear now a fresco course is a painting on a French wall.
Mia would you tell us what happened on the night of July 27 1944 when I'm in a gunning began around day from her name are basically red and I wear and examines him to CD and give and take daughter point. He'll kill nobody was about to be shot on to do and again sound big but then go become a fan. No not him. Now you know you're being rude. Comedy would net and be at the net where you begin to get it in essence quickly and this morning no one can leave me feeling annoyed and getting on around into that I'm going to
I'm going to handed to us and say that it would be better for you to wear only those people ones where anybody and anybody would be too good to do that but it was not possible to do anything that will move around today would not be broken or be months at will and they want to know. They can have lives which we're going to place new possibility of going at it with a CD and nobody before me and one young man figured I need to get her go. We'll be going to be aware of her to be bought nor where you will be and getting better and get on good will and could be used in order to prevent expanding gun went on
and one very silly goes not possible to do anything. When people feel the next morning they were looking at you when they were there was the West going to go boys. But albeit they were they had gone in and that was small and had been pointed down sort of lead for a measly though and then nothing no nothing would be done anymore. The fire was out. Final thing going on I mean one day I'm with you and I think. I got my hand and it was in hiding. Again that night and the thing can I mean from the top of the seat. I'm going to come to get the dog to give to him to do more than one to the last set of hands was he seen me moving up and down and had been hiding from dad so I would need help and they had to get
one of us and we couldn't hide that they thought that the German he actually had a cannon stationed all over the city and were actually firing cannon from the Cathedral Square and many of the no square stands of course the great cathedral and the leaning our began heating and the baptistery and behind the square is the compass sunny and the next morning when the people were able to come out from the curfew they saw that the press goes over. Go ahead. This was the only showing of a compass. The burning was the really important thing. Yeah and many of the frescoes were lost completely mowed down from Good Will. Yeah
the thought that he can back it that between them will be warm and that on the West Coast where me and him being outside formed in that big business and not up and down and with no backing out there then big deal here and they had handed in what would be removing them all. And he's been he's been on something very ingrained and down again to what he knew what was possible to be stored when the when it.
Should be for the Facebook and I guess when working there and me and no anything near the fact that it would be there I want to be drawing my gun today as easy bill to come back was given me on this one has been to match those and now that that is on the wall anybody these days they are nothing to me. When can be today will be cured me of the baby that went into the water in them and they want me back. The manager can't draw on the centuries he'd
be off the last of the frescoes get ready on to my son's needs. Thank you very much for your personality. It took a bit of doing to find the man who could and more importantly Ward talk about the historic none bigger than Ford theory the man turned out to be Professor Polk korma director of the central laboratory of the museums of Belgium in Brussels. Why it was so difficult to find somebody to discuss one of the most famous international frauds in the whole history of art. I think willing merge from Professor Corman's account of the amazing perpetration of a multimillion dollar hoax and some of the world's greatest museums and on some of the world's most hated
collectors. I'm afraid however there are still more amazing a lot of the other covering up the fraud. Well not done just this new era in Brussels for them and I have come to interview the modest man one covered it who is very rare. Well everybody has heard about what is called the golden age in homes which is descending century of course and knows not that time hung out quite a few famous dangers such as Rembrandt house and for man was considered really one of the most of the world's most famous think. To day we are specially interested in the man who died in 16 75. One should say that about 30
pictures. To refer to him by specialized the story. And now the last year as a matter of fact the three 1937. And 1943 several quiet unknown for mayors have been on the market. With a subject completely different from the usual the mayor subjects. And the pictures all the pictures. Six altogether were sold to him by Dutch museums and a famous art gallery. US immediately after the war some people thought that it was quite impossible to make such a discovery and were thinking of somebody else. And who was that. Well yeah. I should mention the name of negative. Well now this brings us a little closer to our own time with our cast of characters who was banned they are well known make
Graham Dutchman born in Holland born in eight hundred eighty nine. He studied architecture. But was really only interested in art and started painting very early. Parus perhaps it's interesting to know that in our early years 19 as in 1913. So at the time I was 24 years old. We already imitated 17th century Dutch painters. And with mainly religious subjects. Very quickly it became a fashionable taste. But really failed to please the official art critics. It's for this very reason which is important for our story. That in 1932 we left Holland and settled in the south of France at the Riviera. First drug of Britain later. At least it's there that he started
his career as a forger of great paintings. The main forgeries which were detected later. The disciples at the Maine is so old. In 1937 to the body man's museum Rotterdam. The Last Supper sold in 1941 the Dutch mom Dee Dee Van Burnam one of the richest richest persons of Holland businessmen next to the disciples on the Last Supper for either for mayors appeared on the market the best known being the washing of the feet sold to gurning during the war in nineteen forty three. Altogether the sales of the pictures brought over Megan. More than two million dollars as you know the forgeries were only detect in 1945. And at that
time the Dutch government started a lawsuit against them a Graham lawsuit in which I was called in by the Dutch government as a scientific expert after the liberation of Holland. The field security stopped its hunt for our collaborators and at the time they discovered by looking through the records of hern. Who had sold numerous works of art of the Germans. The name of a banker who had acted as a go between in the sale to going after one of the forgeries the woman taken in adultery the name of a megger was soon disclosed and he was arrested in May 1945 on the charge of collaborating with the enemy. But then the maker could not tolerate prison life and after six weeks of detention. So in the middle about middle of July
1945 he confessed that he had never sold authentic pictures to the Germans and that all the pictures of a mess that there really were his own work including the most famous one the disciple of the mess. Of course when you look very simply at this question it's hard to believe that somebody like from the ground could have been the author of. Pictures which were. Really very famous throughout the world. But one should not forget that it was wartime that. How long it was under German occupation. That the presence of the Germans and the atmosphere created some of the
circumstances. Oblige the authorities to encourage. The utmost secrecy. For instance about tunnels both of the pictures meeting of competent personalities patrons and sun. Than also that the best documents for comparative purposes. The gentlemen from mayors themselves where hidden in place of safety where no one but a good which no one could visit. Moreover. The best of the pictures is certainly the disciples up to me. Yes it's a good picture. Some even say it's a magnificent picture. Once you accept this picture to be ever met Don't you have to be logical with yourself and accept all the other pictures. Whatever may be their quality I stay certainly by the same hand present Carmen's
once banned they are and can fast I should suppose a confession having been accepted the story would have come to an end. Well normally it should have been the end of the story in 1947. Officially the DE Dutch law court decided that all the DE pictures which before had the name for Mary and Eve or other names like oh where are fakes and where fakes by the hand of a maker. Moreover all universities all museum and all specialized orders except that all of the pictures submitted to the court to be forgeries by the maid is confession was not accepted and accepted and the only way is confession has no court value. He
didn't like to be called a collaborator to start with. And if at the very beginning when Megan was arrested he was under the charge of collaboration one day when later on he told he confessed that he was the author. Of pictures which were signed. The mare then the charge beit became completely different. Then the charge against him was a charge of having imitated of having forged ancient master and having brought them to sale on the market. So the charge became completely different. He would rather I suppose have been a forger than a collaborator. Oh yes so purser Carmen's exactly how was it proved that a van megger and paintings were now genuine very bears.
First of all and this in my opinion is the most important find. All the fakes have not been painted in the usual way and by this I mean the use of age drying our eyes did from a hair and all the 17th century Dutch painters but from a can used a synthetic resin. Synthetic resin which was only discovered in the United States but by the way by a Belgian back alarmed at the very end of the 19th century. So by determining the presence of this artificial resin in all the pictures it became obvious for everybody including the court that the pictures could not be sent in Century. But where. Of Modern Argy. Next to these of course there are other things I should
call it the normal scientific evidence in a museum laboratory. It's the use of a gray infrared ultraviolet micro chemical that emanation and sun next to that and that is rather interesting as you know the making painted all these pictures on top of an original 17th century Dutch canvas event clean that canvas so that the surface at the back. Looked alright gleamed at this surf first and on top of the surface event painted these forgers underneath the Last Supper bought by Mr. from burning and there was a picture by Andreas which is also the 17th century Dutch paint representing a hunting scene
by E3. It could be discovered. That underneath this picture was this one used its hunting seen and Moreover and this is no longer a chemical matter or a physical matter it does been proven without any doubt that this picture has been but changed. But from a career in Amsterdam in May 1940 this next to all scientific evidence gave him our pinion absolute proof that divine burning and picture has been painted. Later than this date later than the end of May 1940. The affair came before God. You know Amsterdam. In at the end of nineteen for the East seven and for Megan was gone then. Unluckily he died a few Whig weeks later at the very end of the
same year. The value of the pictures. Ass things stand now is quite different from the perch inside because the world is such that as long as a picture is called of a man museums and private collectors are willing to pay any price and for these pictures let us say between half a million and three quarters of a million dollars. But now as it is known all over the world that the pictures are not by having me here but only by a man from a gun. Well I guess that the value is reduced not to a few cents but really to a few dollars. It's not fair in a way because a picture should have a an artistic value which is independent from names famous names of. Artist. But that's the way the world is and I don't
think you are me we can change it. Thank you very much Professor Carmen. The story of the Last Supper. You know the struggle of fourth century to save it from ruins is unique in the history of art and I have asked the lady to know that perhaps better than anyone else to tell it she it Signorina I knew a lot of the Peano because they got the bread at the brown Museum of Malaya the Brera is along with the 50 gallery in Florence. Certainly Italy's greatest collection of managers. Just how and when did the Last Supper come to be painted. Just when America went be kind of a clue. Did you think of me and the Land Commission you now go to do something special for the demeaning can via the Fiat who wanted very factory Brachman. I get there being
cheap to do the PV on the end of their victims. When I said that we're beginning 40 94 or 40 95 and it is probable that it was completely that of the ear. Forty nine D.C. you know adult babies and that's a very theme better. He makes it right. I whack and York beaten into it. Oh I agree. Independence of can however see me begin to cry and consequently to contract and break up from the wrong creek in the second century thought you know not a word was the that beating poet because these want Being thing to me but they were wrong. Early in the game engine Sadri said to me confirmed I bought my car and it would cut the cord on a good relation with that big green becoming a game and we still accept
the West Bank and means it can seem to me in the other demeaning and Matt found that gun act you describe so one of them and you're going to get you thinking about the fitness in the morning they were right every anchormen you can dream it Commission a VC founded with a pro. But the 30 inch an apple you know you're not going to use a carrot name. Yeah well the commission appears as if this added to keep the wall to accompany them for actual one month insect of the route this was a wonderful idea and play it down and out to be as it only way to say the last Sept and then make the beginning of the present painterly some good restoration over the painting that you know Parchin it fully Kemalist take on board walk after being cloned for privacy on him you're right it
was obscured by the new format crap why more mobile. Yeah at last it seems that green beans would be absolutely NOT leading the target of the pairing and the duration. Yes or he may have mounted a trolley to greet a carriage toward a giant that kind of thing. Can you show me how Neverland thankfully 80 billion because my story had been given up in breaking treatment and proved a good hand not only in Cali to hang this campus but being caring and this was a great magical is right on there I go mad. It really don't feel regional color of Rimadyl that 480 feet. Yes Charlie Afgan and was granted permission to go and with the aid of a cow bell here a mural down and I'm looking very good
walk like it's not you know but we can agree to do. Oh yes there is that I'm going to turn everybody from head to cast on occasion. Really. You mean the painting is even better now than it was the day and I don't think he did not not black. Good bet good to be even accept they not to that shit anymore. Wednesday or plastering and all of the painting was remote it was found that didn't do any one Bradfield with treasures of God to ram that car and then drive. Damn I'm sure that they're not out to be played during the moment of your sack of that. How close to the original condition of the painting the picture thought to be today. Well imagine a time a car cannot be repaired. But I think that we have very good relations that have been completely removed and the damage to others and that's why our own
car. You must and that such people cannot really be on the table in their waving goodbye power or even to get on and they would be on thank you very much. When your inner voices of Europe was produced and recorded in Europe by Milton Mayer in cooperation with the University of Chicago under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center. This program is distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This program has been introduced by Marvin price this is the end E.B. Radio Network.
Voices of Europe
European art treasures
Producing Organization
University of Chicago
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
Interviews with noted Europeans on a variety of subjects, conducted by Milton Mayer, American author and broadcaster, lecturer and professor in the Institute of Social Research at Frankfurt University.
Broadcast Date
Global Affairs
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Interviewee: Grisela, Lea
Interviewee: Rava, Angela
Interviewer: Mayer, Milton, 1908-1986
Producing Organization: University of Chicago
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 57-7-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:44
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Chicago: “Voices of Europe; European art treasures,” 1957-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 20, 2024,
MLA: “Voices of Europe; European art treasures.” 1957-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 20, 2024. <>.
APA: Voices of Europe; European art treasures. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from