The Internet just keeps throwing forth more and more places to be. Communities, watering holes, places to join. The latest I've joined (well, just before Facebook, see yesterday), is "Red Room: Where the Writers Are." It's a website for authors. Anyway, a tip of the hat to those folks, who decided to feature "Loot" on its home page as the "Best of Red Room." Someday the book will come out, and people will actually get to read it: November. Or late October, if you order it now.
“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."
“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.”
"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."
“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."
July 28, 2008
July 12, 2008
Shelby White, the New York collector who earlier this year agreed to voluntarily relinquish 10 antiquities from her private collection to Italy, will give up two more pieces to Greece, the Greek culture ministry said Friday. The pieces are a marble sculpture that originally decorated an ancient grave and a bronze vase, both dating from the 4th century B.C. The terms of this agreement were not released, and White's spokesman Fraser Seitel has not commented. But one can presume that White secured the right to be free of prosecution as regards the rest of her collection. Other major collectors should not feel so safe.
Publisher's Weekly has chosen to feature "Loot" next week, in the first review of the book which I'm delighted to share with you all. The book rates a star with PW, which says: "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." Here's the rest.
July 07, 2008
Readers: Light posting this week as I'll be travelling. In the meantime, here's another endorsement for my upcoming book, 'Loot,' this from the best-selling author Douglas Preston, with my gratitude:
Loot by Sharon Waxman is a riveting foray into the biggest question facing museums today: who should own the great works of ancient art? 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. The great strength of this book is that it will offend virtually all parties to the conflict by revealing their deepest, darkest, dirtiest secrets, from the destructive cleaning of the Elgin Marbles by the British to the Keystone Kops level of security in Turkish museums.
--Douglas Preston, author of The Monster of Florence