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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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September 17, 2009

Loot About to Emerge in Paperback! And a reader writes of more looting

Dear Readers,

You may know I've been absorbed building and launching TheWrap.com, a digital news organization covering the business of entertainment and media.

But I am still devoted to Loot, and am delighted to tell you that the paperback will be published this month, available now on Amazon. It will be featured in next week's New York Times Book Review on Paperback Row, very exciting.

The British edition, published by Old Street Books, will also be out soon, in early October. (Just in case you want every cover art available.)

Meanwhile a reader writes today of disturbing ongoing theft of Native American art, and asks what she can do about it:

Hello Ms. Waxman:
 
I just finished Loot and found it both fascinating and disturbing.  It prompted me to write to you concerning a contemporary problem regarding the plunder of ancient Native American rock art, particularly in the Colorado Plateau/ Four Corners region of the US. As I'm sure you're aware, unscrupulous (or just plain criminal) individuals are literally hacking portions of pictographs and petroglyphs from the sites where they belong and selling them to dealers and middlemen.  Many such trophies are leaving the country, but some come to rest on decks and in the homes of persons who can afford such pieces of irreplaceable Americana. Others face wanton destruction or just the ravages of time. These archaic sites are sacred to many Native American Tribes. Archaic rock art is disappearing before it can be evaluated and studied.
 
The remoteness of many sites make monitoring extremely difficult.  Furthermore, the American public is not sufficiently aware of this valuable heritage.  A number of sites rival in beauty and cultural significance the ancient European rock art sites that are universally revered.
 
For the past 4 years, I have been working with an organization -- the Barrier Canyon Style (BCS) project --  that is trying to discover, record, and make archival photographs of all the BCS sites on the Colorado Plateau.  I am the grant writer for the project.
 
There is, of course, a great deal more information regarding the project and its objectives, but I don't want to swamp you.
 
I would appreciate your opinions, suggestions and/or advice regarding the project and what can be done to halt the destruction of these American antiquities.
 
Many thanks.
 
Sincerely,
 
Anka Angrist

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