Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World

Sharon Waxman, Author . Times $27.50 (414p) ISBN 978-0-8050-8653-9

After covering Hollywood's cutting-edge directors (Rebels on the Backlot ), former New York Times correspondent Waxman embarks on a grand tour of some of the world's finest museums—the Met, the Louvre, the British Museum, the Getty—and the countries from which some of their most famous antiquities were illicitly taken. Skillfully blending history and reportage, Waxman traces the stories of treasures like the Elgin Marbles, then jumps into the debate over whether they should be restored to their countries of origin. She finds no easy answers: while acknowledging the dubious means by which European and American museums acquired many antiquities, she concedes that the governments clamoring for their return don't always have adequate plans for their maintenance. (Turkey compelled the Met to hand over the famous Lydian Hoard, only to have its masterpiece stolen.) Waxman's account is animated by interviews with museum curators, accused smugglers and government officials, putting a human spin on the complex cultural politics before arriving at a middle ground that strives for international collaboration in preserving a broad, global heritage. 8-page color insert, 20 b&w photos. (Nov. 1)

Reviewed on: 07/14/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4299-6043-4
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-8050-9088-8
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