A new study by a market research company called Interpret LLC suggests that the economic downturn may have a negative impact on moviegoing. This is interesting because past history suggests (and this summer's robust box office seems to confirm) that when money is tight, folks still spend their money on inexpensive entertainment like going to the cineplex. From today's WSJ story:
“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."
August 07, 2008
August 05, 2008
Second review of "Loot," from Kirkus Reviews. An excerpt:
"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.... Who has the right to the world’s treasures? The case of the Elgin marbles illustrates how difficult such questions are to answer. Much of the Parthenon was destroyed during the marbles’ removal, but the temple was being used at the time by the occupying Turks as a storage facility for gun powder, with more than one resulting explosion. Athenian pollution subsequently corroded much of what remained on site, but the British Museum’s attempts to clean the marbles has also had disastrous effects. In Waxman’s hands, the question of justice remains intriguingly slippery, and the argument over who owns history takes on new depth. Erudite and wholly satisfying."