Loot by Sharon Waxman
The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World

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Synopsis

A journey across four continents to the heart of the conflict over who should own the great works of ancient art

Why are the Elgin Marbles in London and not on the Acropolis? Why do there seem to be as many mummies in France as there are in Egypt? Why are so many Etruscan masterworks in America? For the past two centuries, the West has been plundering the treasures of the ancient world to fill its great museums, but in recent years, the countries where ancient civilizations originated have begun to push back, taking museums to court, prosecuting curators, and threatening to force the return of these priceless objects.

Where do these treasures rightly belong? Sharon Waxman, a former culture reporter for The New York Times and a longtime foreign correspondent, brings us inside this high-stakes conflict, examining the implications for the preservation of the objects themselves and for how we understand our shared cultural heritage. Her journey takes readers from the great cities of Europe and America to Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy, as these countries face down the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum, the British Museum, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. She also introduces a cast of determined and implacable characters whose battles may strip these museums of some of their most cherished treasures.

For readers who are fascinated by antiquity, who love to frequent museums, and who believe in the value of cultural exchange, Loot opens a new window on an enduring conflict.

 

About Sharon Waxman

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Sharon Waxman is a former culture correspondent for The New York Times and holds a master’s degree in Middle East studies from Oxford University. She covered Middle Eastern and European politics and culture for ten years before joining The Washington Post and then The New York Times to report on Hollywood and other cultural news. She is the author of Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System. She lives in Southern California.
 
Published January 18, 2003 by Times Books. 432 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Loot

Kirkus Reviews

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Erudite and wholly satisfying.

Nov 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Loot: The Battle over the Sto...

Kirkus Reviews

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Former New York Times culture correspondent Waxman (Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System, 2005) adroitly and expertly explores a centuries-old struggle.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Loot: The Battle over the Sto...

The New York Times

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How several well-to-do American museums came to deal in contraband antiquities.

Nov 09 2008 | Read Full Review of Loot: The Battle over the Sto...

Bookmarks Magazine

Similarly, although she gives everyone equal voice—from curators to archaeologists to journalists uncovering these crimes—the museum directors and curators fare relatively badly.

Nov 02 2008 | Read Full Review of Loot: The Battle over the Sto...

truthdig

It has nothing to do with reality, it’s just a phase of Westernization.” Actually, he goes on, in the 1950s and ’60s, European museums “didn’t much care about what they had.” Half of their collections were locked in storage, and “if you tried to see something on a scholarly basis, it took seven w...

Oct 24 2008 | Read Full Review of Loot: The Battle over the Sto...

truthdig

uncontroversial as she presents, only a cause of slight embarrassment - but it .

Sep 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Loot: The Battle over the Sto...

truthdig

it is important - .

Jun 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Loot: The Battle over the Sto...

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