Cautionary Tales – The Wild Turkeys of Schleswig


There are eight American turkeys painted on the partitions of Schleswig’s Cathedral of St Peter – which is odd… because the frescoes had been created two centuries earlier than Columbus even crossed the Atlantic.   

How did the creatures come to be added to the medieval Biblical scene? Was this proof that the Germans reached the Americas lengthy earlier than Columbus? Or do the painted birds inform a distinct story all collectively? 

Cautionary Tales is written by me, Tim Harford, with Andrew Wright. It’s produced by Ryan Dilley, with help from Courtney Guarino and Emily Vaughn.

The sound design and unique music is the work of Pascal Wyse. Julia Barton edited the scripts.

Because of the workforce at Pushkin Industries, together with Mia Lobel, Jacob Weisberg, Heather Fain, Jon Schnaars, Carly Migliori, Eric Sandler, Emily Rostek, Royston Beserve, Maggie Taylor, Nicole Morano, Daniella Lakhan and Maya Koenig.

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Additional studying and listening

The definitive account of the Malskat affair is Jonathan Keat’s Solid: Why Fakes Are the Nice Artwork of Our Age (2012), supplemented by Sepp Schuller’s Forgers, Sellers, Consultants (1960).

I discovered concerning the story in Alice Sherwood’s Authenticity (2022).

Bomber Command knowledge on the Lubeck raid

The New York Instances on the trial of Lothar Malskat



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