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Aimée Plukker's research master thesis on the discovery of Rome by American policy makers and tourists has been awarded the Volkskrant-IISH thesis award 2018. For her thesis, Aimée explored multiple archives, magazines and films to investigate the ideology behind American mass tourism and the adoration of Rome as the cradle of Western civilization. Combining American and Italian perspectives, her conclusion is that political tourism, consumerism and a selective memory proved powerful tools for the United States in presenting itself as the saviour and patron of Rome's cultural legacy.