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November 03, 2008

"Loot" is out! I'll be off on book tour; Go to Lootbook.com

Update: Please follow my latest at www.lootbook.com; waxword will have to go quiet for a short while. Please check back later in November, and we will be back.

The long-awaited moment is here!  "Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World" is finally available for purchase in bookstores everywhere, and online.

Should the Met should have given back the Lydian Hoard? Are modern day Egyptians the proper heirs to to ancient pharaonic civilization? Should the Parthenon sculptures stay at the British Museum or go back to Greece? Is the Getty a rogue museum, or wrongly targetted by politicians?
Find out, and be the first to support this book by buying it today, at www.lootbook.com, or at your local bookstore. We need your support, please take a moment to buy the book today.
Then join in the conversation underway at the www.lootbook.com website.  
Already, "Loot" is causing a stir in the art world, from an excerpt published at "The Daily Beast" about sex at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and among passionate advocates for and against restitution, commenting online. You'll find the Daily Beast excerpt, along with the Introduction, posted at lootbook.com.
I'll be leaving on book tour, and appearing at events in Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, Boston and elsewhere in the coming weeks. I hope you will join us at public events next weekend in Los Angeles; you can check those out under Appearances, but most updates will be at lootbook.com
As a result, I will not be blogging as much about Hollywood and other related news in the next few weeks. I hope you'll forgive the interruption, and will come back in December, when I will again pick up the pace, ahead of the full-on launch of thewrapnews.com.



I bought mine the day it came out!! I also checked out our local book store and the book is proudly displayed in the Art section. Hope to see you at one of your book presentations. Any chance you'll have one in San Diego?

Jimmy Choo

"Should the Met should have given back the Lydian Hoard?"
"Should the Parthenon sculptures stay at the British Museum or go back to Greece?"
OF COURSE!!! Why is this even a question?
Should China be able to steal the Washington Monument? Hmm.. Let me wonder about that with wine and cheese, then write a book about it. Stupid people like me will buy this book.

Jay House Samios

I found one sentence from the book blurb on MacMillan's site to be a bit curious, geographically inaccurate, and possibly insulting: "Her journey takes readers from the great cities of Europe and America to Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy, as these countries face down the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum, the British Museum, and the J. Paul Getty Museum."

Since when does neither Greece nor Italy contain any of the "great cities of Europe"? Last time I checked (this summer) Athens was a hip, international city. I've never been to Rome, Milan, Venice or Florence but I have this crazy notion they have some "great" things going on too. Northwestern Europe needs to get over itself.

Jan Buechting

(From a letter to Prince , Sheikhdom of Qatar)

....My last point is preceded by the sad events of 1991, namely the invasion of Iraq into the sovereign State of Kuwait. At the time, truckloads of artifacts and private as well as public possessions of all kinds were surreptitiously transferred to Iraq.
Based on my own inspection in the capacity of a neutral curator and restorer of fine art, I estimate the value of these missing goods to be in the billions of dollars. Large lots of these spoils of war are still stored under clandestine, non-archival (or climate-controlled) conditions on farms and villages spread out over a large area in Northern Iraq.
Because of the iconic or stated monetary value (reserve notes) almost none of these items can be sold on the open or black market. Here again, I would like to propose for Qatar to assume a unique leadership role: This could take the shape of a temporary repatriation agency that would act as the “honest broker” between those now in possession of the goods and those persons/institutions who have lost them during the invasion. The specific details would have to be carefully worked out (perhaps with the assistance of UNESCO) and the range of functions and activities of the agency would have to be discretely broadcasted to those who expect some monetary value for returning these goods. But in the end, a formidable service would have been rendered to the preservation of some of the world’s cultural heritage at the fraction of its (theoretical) “replacement cost”. It is safe to assume that most of the former owners would wholeheartedly support the undertaking.
It is my sincere hope that in the text above I have presented four very different start-up points for further discussion. They all are merged in my desire to be perhaps part of an internationally versed creative force that helps in bringing additional distinction to the cultural and academic life to a state that has recently gained so much positive world attention by making its influence felt on political progress and peace in the broader region. If this will be the long-term agenda of Qatar’s government now and in the future then it would be gratifying for me to be part of this process.

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