LOOT : THE BATTLE OVER THE STOLEN TREASURES OF THE ANCIENT WORLD
by Sharon Waxman
Should the museums of the West own some of the greatest antiquities known to mankind or should they be returned to their countries of origin? The debate has been raging for decades. Of course, the way these artifacts have been acquired is not exactly kosher. For the past two hundred years, they have been illegally excavated, smuggled and sold to dealers and collectors, who sell the items to the museums. The unsuspecting public is then lied to by the written description (legend) next to the object, the origin never fully explained. Their motto is: "don't ask, don't tell."
Sharon Waxman visits the Met, the Louvre, the British Museum, the Getty and the countries from which the treasures were stolen from. She interviews curators, scholars, smugglers, prosecutors and journalists.
Loot is a tremendous read. Waxman has done a tremendous amount of research and effortlessly weaves history and reporting together.
There are black and white photographs interspersed throughout the chapters and eight pages of color photographs.
A book not to be missed.