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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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November 18, 2008

Professor and author Brian Fagan on "Loot"

Archaeology professor and author Brian Fagan - who decades ago wrote one of the landmark books about looting in Egypt called ""The Rape of the Nile: Tomb Robbers, Tourists and Archaeologists in Egypt" - has written to say how much he liked "Loot." Here is some of his letter, with his permission:

"...I also enjoyed your description of the Getty, with whom I have had many dealings over the years, notably with the GCI. It's still a very precious place and full of talk--the sex stuff was going around with a vengeance some years ago, as you so ably describe!

I'm particularly glad that you picked up on Wallis Budge and the British Museum's defensive attitude about him. As far as I could find out (and I could not, at the time, get access to BM files), he was thoroughly dishonest, ruthlessly ambitious, and a complete opportunist. And he had the nerve to boast about it. I believe someone in the UK has written a biography, but I have been unable to track it down.

Anyhow, many thanks for thinking of me and for writing an enjoyable, thought provoking book."

Fagan, an emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has written 46 books. He is also a contributing editor to both American Archaeology magazine and Discover Archaeology magazine.



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