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About the book:
From the Ancients, Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Moors and Charlemagne, the author traces how a lust for pride of ownership and power over the vanquished has driven conquerors, confiscators (the old-fashioned word for looters) and ruthless administrators to grab the valuable possessions of others. The different motivation of the greatest looters in history is a theme which is examined throughout the book. From Sargon II who ruled Syria between 721 and 705 BC, Alexander the Great, Cesare Borgia, Gonzales the Spanish conquistador who defeated the Incan Empire, Francis Drake, Napoleon Bonaparte, Joseph Stalin, Hermann Goering and Adolf Hitler, we eventually reach the twenty-first century where looting continues world-wide and hardly a day goes by without news in the media of the latest audacious art theft.
The History of Loot and Stolen Art by Ivan Lindsay
For as long back as I can remember, I have been fascinated with history and art. I love wandering through museums looking at the statues and paintings and wondering what kind of travels they have been on during their lifetime. It's even more fascinating when you think about the battles and thefts that many have been through. Just think of all the churches and castles that have been ransacked and the riches that have been stolen during our past.
This book takes you through the history of the world starting with the Ancients, Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Moors and Charlemagne and will bring you to current day (2009). Throughout the book are gorgeous color photographs of the pieces of art that are being discussed. The book explains the time period that the artwork is from and what was happening in history at that time. I love that this book is not just traditional artwork like paintings that many people think of when they hear stolen art. It also includes things like 40 ton life size statues and 47 foot high gates. Many of these works of art are mentioned in the Bible and I found it fascinating to learn more about them.
Of course, there is a lot of information that is more current that Biblical works of art. You'll learn about many works of art that were stolen when Hitler was in power. There is a lot of information on what Interpol is doing now to try to prevent art thefts. I found the information about the large theft at The Montreal Museum of Art in 1972 fascinating because it is the largest theft in Canadian history. Armed thieves stole 18 paintings along with jewelry and figurines.
If art history interests you as much as it interests me, you'll definitely want to look at The History of Loot and Stolen Art by Ivan Lindsay.