THE SPOILS OF WAR by Elizabeth Simpson


World War II and Its Aftermath: The Loss, Reappearance, and Recovery of Cultural Property
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 The ever-rapacious Nazis looted staggering quantities of great art and antiques from the nations they occupied. Much of it found its way back to Germany, and following the Allied victory, many thousands of rare (and some priceless) pieces were identified, and returned to the countries from which they had been taken. But not all of the paintings, statues, and archaeological treasures were recovered: Some were taken by Soviet troops and disappeared into Russia. Still others slipped into the black market in western Europe, and were snapped up by wealthy (if unprincipled) collectors. A 1995 symposium at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts brought together European and American investigators and historians to discuss both the the Nazi thefts and the current state of knowledge of the whereabouts of the many still missing treasures. Those papers are reprinted here. While the pieces are detailed, dry, and likely to be of most interest to specialists, there are some extraordinary stories, most prominently the description of the recent rediscovery of ``Priam's treasure,'' excavated by Schliemann at Troy and hidden since WW II in a Russian museum. (123 illustrations, 25 in color)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-8109-4469-3
Page count: 328pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1997