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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World

Sharon Waxman

Times Books


A journey across four continents to the heart of the conflict over who should own the great works of ancient art

Why are the Elgin Marbles in London and not on the Acropolis? Why do there seem to be as many mummies in France as there are in Egypt? Why are so many Etruscan masterworks in America? For the past two centuries, the West has been plundering the treasures of the ancient world to fill its great museums, but in recent years, the countries where ancient civilizations originated have begun to push back, taking museums to court, prosecuting curators, and threatening to force the return of these priceless objects.

Where do these treasures rightly belong? Sharon Waxman, a former culture reporter for The New York Times and a longtime foreign correspondent, brings us inside this high-stakes conflict, examining the implications for the preservation of the objects themselves and for how we understand our shared cultural heritage. 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. She also introduces a cast of determined and implacable characters whose battles may strip these museums of some of their most cherished treasures.

For readers who are fascinated by antiquity, who love to frequent museums, and who believe in the value of cultural exchange, Loot opens a new window on an enduring conflict.


It was just like Zahi Hawass to toss a bomb into the middle of someone else's well-laid plans. On a bright, breezy day in June 2006, dozens of reporters and news crews, cameras, and microphones were lined up at the Field...

In the Press

Sharon Waxman explores the contentious intersection where museums, antiquities dealers, and national pride meet in Loot: The Battle Over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World - Time Magazine

Journalist Sharon Waxman's "Loot," a cogent survey of the conflict over classical antiquities, is notable for its common sense, a rare quality in a debate generally characterized by high-pitched - Los Angeles Times

How several well-to-do American museums came to deal in contraband antiquities. - The New York Times

Reviews from Goodreads

Sharon Waxman

Sharon Waxman is a former culture correspondent for The New York Times and holds a master's degree in Middle East studies from Oxford University. She covered Middle Eastern and European politics and culture for ten years before joining The Washington Post and then The New York Times to report on Hollywood and other cultural news. She is the author of Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System. She lives in Southern California.

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Joel Bernstein

Sharon Waxman

Times Books

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