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Tina Brown:

“Sharon Waxman has written a compelling page turner about the world of antiquities and art-world skulduggery. She manages to combine rigorous, scholarly reporting with a flair for intrigue and personality that gives Loot the fast pace of a novel. I enjoyed it immensely."

Christopher Hitchens:

“Sharon Waxman’s Loot is the most instructive as well as the most intelligent (and the most entertaining) guide through the labyrinth of antiquity and the ways in which the claims of the departed intersect with the rights of the living.”

Douglas Preston, author of The Monster of Florence:

"Loot is a riveting foray into the biggest question facing museums today: who should own the great works of ancient art? Sharon Waxman is a first-rate reporter, a veritable Euphronios of words, who not only explores the legal and moral ambiguities of the conflict but brings to life the colorful -- even outrageous -- personalities facing off for a high noon showdown over some of the world’s iconic works of art. Vivid, witty, and delightful, this book will beguile any reader with an interest in art and museums."

Lucette Lagnado, author of The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit:

“Sharon Waxman approaches her subject with the passion of a great journalist and the rigor of a scholar. It may never again be possible for some of us to walk down the halls of the Louvre or the British Museum or the Metropolitan without a vague sense of disquietude, a frisson of wonder about the provenance of some of their showcase works of ancient art.”

Karl E. Meyer, author of The Plundered Past and co-author of Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East:

"Sharon Waxman’s Loot is indispensable for everyone concerned with the illicit trade in smuggled antiquities. She exposes the self-serving humbug that too often afflicts both affluent possessors and righteous nationalists and shows that we all have a stake in getting an honest account of how great objects came to rest in our grandest museums."

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July 29, 2007

Sunday Idylls

Beach COLYBITHRES, Paros – Everyone should see Colybithres; the world would be a calmer place. It is a cove facing the town of Naoussa on the island of Paros, accessible mainly by boat, a noisy junk that for $3 motors you across to paradise. Along the way, the Aegean is bright blue beneath the prow, a sunlit sapphire enveloping your gaze. As you approach the cove, the sea turns suddenly quiet and electric green, a swirl of neon liquid. The sun streams through the pale, translucent shallows and reflects the white sand below. You land, and climb over rocks, heavy, smooth, primitive stones in curved formations, jutting out into the water. And as you swim, the world spins more slowly, your heart beats to the rhythm of the tide lapping softly against the shore. In the gentle embrace of Colybithres, old couples fall in love again, new couples come to pass. And the weary spirit remembers that, sometimes, there is perfection. On Paros.

NEXT: On to Rome.