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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Family Chariot

Forty-two relatives of Isidoro Vannozzi gathered Monday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to visit a former family treasure—a 2,600-year-old Etruscan chariot Isidoro discovered in 1898 while digging a cellar in Monteleone, Italy. He stored it in his barn, where his grandson—Lou Giovannetti's father—used to play on it when he was a boy.

"Dad would be amazed. I'm sure he would. I don't think he realized that much about it when he was a young kid playing on it."

Neither, apparently, did Isidoro, who -- according to lore -- sold the chariot for two cows and 30 terra-cotta tiles before it was shipped off to America. Other accounts say Isidoro made a tidy profit on the sale.

"We keep talking about Isidoro -- he was a farmer; he gave the chariot away. But the money he got was a lot. He wasn't stupid," Bill Giovannetti said. [Link]
[Photo Credit: Bronze chariot inlaid with ivory... by Mary Harrsch]

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