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Stealing History by Roger Atwood

Stealing History

by Roger Atwood

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From the opening pages set in Iraq after the downfall of Saddam Hussein to the mountains of Peru to the Museum of Art in New Mexico, Atwood traces the looting of art, textiles, and other artifacts from the tomb to the looter to the middleman to the collector. He's not afraid to ask questions and follow the story. He comes up with a few solutions in the end, but how many of them will ever be followed is anyone's guess. My bet is not very many. As long as there are people willing to buy history, someone will be there to sell it. Organizations like the FBI and others are trying to enforce laws, but there is only so much they can do without help from some serious legislation. What I found shocking was the extent to which museum themselves were collaborators in this cultural rape. They ask mighty few questions about where their acquisitions come from, especially their older ones, and are very reluctant to part with anything, even when the piece is proven to be looted. Finders keepers is the only law that really operates in the art world. Great story. ( )
  cmbohn | Sep 10, 2010 |
I found this book utterly fascinating. Well written and interesting from the beginning right to the end. I don't know who recommended this book to me, but I'm sure glad I tracked it down and read it. ( )
1 vote Nickelini | Jun 12, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312324073, Paperback)

Roger Atwood knows more about the market for ancient objects than almost anyone. He knows where priceless antiquities are buried, who is digging them up, and who is fencing and buying them. In this fascinating book, Atwood takes readers on a journey through Iraq, Peru, Hong Kong, and across America, showing how the worldwide antiquities trade is destroying what's left of the ancient sites before archaeologists can reach them, and thus erasing their historical significance. And it is getting worse. The discovery of the legendary Royal Tombs of Sipan in Peru started an epidemic. Grave robbers scouring the courntryside for tombs--and finding them. Atwood recounts the incredible story of the biggest piece of gold ever found in the Americas, a 2,000-year-old, three-pound masterpiece that cost one looter his life, sent two smugglers to jail, and wrecked lives from Panama to Pennsylvainia. Packed with true stories, this book not only reveals what has been found, but at what cost to both human life and history.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:43 -0400)

An analysis of the antiquities trade in such locales as Iraq, Peru, Hong Kong, and America reveals how current practices are decimating archaeological sites and compromising the modern world's understanding of history.

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