Stolen, Smuggled, Sold by Nancy Moses. Published by Rowman & Littlefield

There have been a spate of excellent books recently about the lost treasures of the Holocaust and Moses herself wanted to write about American museums returning the stolen artworks to their rightful owners. Turns out that even the museums who had returned stolen or looted art to its owners were reluctant to speak up as it raised questions about why they had the art to begin with. So Moses went a slightly different route and decided to try to track down a number of missing treasures – from paintings, to manuscripts, to mummies; in America, Europe and the Middle East. Readers follow along with Moses as she tracks down (or tries to track down) each artifact, meeting with the shady and underhanded and those determined to do the right thing. From outright robberies to the “acquisition” of certain pieces taken from their country of origin to be “proudly displayed” in an American on European collection. Moses is the real deal, with all the proper museum credential, but she’s also a hell of a writer and brings to mind Thomas Hoving and his splendid stories of shady museum dealings. Highly recommended

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