Victoria Hislop tells Graham Norton about ‘burning inspiration’ behind The Figurine

The Figurine is set during the period of the Junta army dictatorship in Greece in the 1960s and 1970s, and Victoria’s story was inspired by the Cycladic figurine and the influence they had on 20th century art. She wanted to explore the crime that beauty and antiquity can drive people to.

Speaking on The Graham Norton Radio Show with Waitrose, The Island writer revealed that the statutes, most of whom are women and found by grave sites, are actually illegal to buy and sell, and the genesis of her story came from the argument over antiquities in museums thousands of miles away from their home.