Operation Minerva

by F. Guzzardi
This compelling crime novel is based on six true stories, told by the very same financiers and archeologists who experienced them. They portray the difficult job of A.R.T., the Art Recovery Team of Italy's Finance Police, in its daily battle against art traffickers. The protagonists are the young Marshal Sergio, the captivating Lieutenant Giulio and the omniscient Commander. Their enemies are grave robbers, art traffickers, delinquents and counterfeiters. The everyday experiences of the three main characters involve family, love, friendship, but also life and death. Every day they risk their lives in order to protect and recover Italy's artistic patrimony, which is dispersed illegally throughout the world. Broken-into necropolises, stolen treasures, dangerous investigations, mystery, action, intelligence and avant-garde technology all play a role in combatting the world's third biggest illegal market: art trafficking, the scope of which pales only in comparison to the trafficking of drugs and arms. The #1 book inspired by stories of art stolen in Italy and recovered by the Guardia di Finanza, Italy's Finance Police.

Published in 2014 simultaneously in Italy and America, thanks to the translation by David A. Masters, the first novel of a criminal investigation, freely inspired by the events of the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage Group of Guardia di Finanza, narrated from the voice of the protagonists: men in gray-green every day in the fight against art trafficking. Three protagonists consume their stories every day risking their lives to protect and recover our great artistic patrimony dispersed around the world. intelligence activities, advanced technologies, mystery and action, to combat the third source of business for OC, after drugs and arms trafficking.

Operation Minerva is a book that tells the real stories of men and women engaged in a struggle against the crimes perpetrated on the world's artistic heritage. It is a tribute to those who work in anonymity, with their personal stories of love and loneliness. Italy is a battleground, due to the long history and cultures that have passed through the country. The psychologies of traffickers and those of the defenders of order, they are stripped naked and demystified. Love, hate, arrogance, are explored in this glimpse of Italian life.  A book that gives the "everyday emotions", which makes known a world that few insiders are aware.

"Giulio he moved while remaining at a safe distance trying to better see what they were doing. The men they seemed to have a clear plan, a procedure predetermined, after the well coated fresh excavation, they threw the tools behind the bushes and without taking anything with
they walked away toward their cars. Is it possible that what they had found they had then left under the fresh earth? When they would come back to finish the work?
He went back in the van by his colleagues and listened the interception. Then he decided to go back to retrieve walk his bike, an MV Augusta Brutale, had left  far away for not to create suspicion and he needed to think. When thus was, the movement of the legs helping him.

 Operation Minerva, gives us to gloss over a world that few of us knew and did not imagine when we are contemplating artworks transmit to us by an ancient culture that survives accessible to all thanks to the efforts of these men and women and we are reminded with care and detailing the human aspect of its protagonists, from a talented writer, studious of the human soul, Susanna Casubolo.


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