Spoils of War

Spoils of War

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Author/Contributor(s): Simpson, Elizabeth
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Date: 02/01/1997
Binding: Hardcover
Condition: USED - Very good. An unmarked copy with tight binding and light shelf wear. Dust jacket included

Based on a much-discussed 1995 international symposium at the Bard Graduate Center in New York, this book unites an impressive variety of valuable testimonies about the problems--historical, artistic and legal--posed by the looting of artwork during WWII and the restitution of these objects. The subject is very much a work in progress, since although some major treasures like the Quedlinburg medieval art booty, stolen by an American GI, was sold back to Germany by his heirs, a vast trove of artwork looted by the Soviets after the war and exposed in a 1991 ArtNews feature are as far as ever from being sent back to their owners, despite hints and even pleas to the Russians in essays in this book. A touching perspective is given by surviving members of the U.S. Army's Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section, now octogenarians, about their fascinating work, accomplished immediately after the war, sorting out Europe's lost, stolen and strayed art treasures and the unexpected fun had by doing so. Tragedy is brought into the picture by the large numbers of works still lost or presumed destroyed, including masterpieces by Raphael and El Greco and an exquisite 12th-century cross called ""the most important national relic of Belarus."" This is an extremely timely and well-organized book of urgent interest to every art lover. 123 illustrations, 25 in color.