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Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt For Looted Antiquities At The World's Richest Museum (2011)

Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World's Richest Museum (2011)
3.94 of 5 Votes: 4
0151015015 (ISBN13: 9780151015016)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt For Loote...
Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt For Looted Antiquities At The World's Richest Museum (2011)

About book: I literally couldn't put this book down! I was walking around with my Nook in hand, bumping into things, ignoring chores, because this fascinating, extraordinarily-well researched book combines two of my favorite things -- art and detective stories. Chasing Aphrodite is primarily about the dealings of the Getty Museum in LA, but it is also a great look at how American museums shifted (in a let go or be dragged sense) from turning a blind eye to the origins of the beautiful historic objects the public clamored for, to committing to the international patrimony and cultural preservation movement. It is also the story of hubris, of curators and collectors, whose hunger for beauty overrode responsibility. [Note to Washingtonians -- I had no idea that Robert Hecht, of the late, not all that lamented department store, was such a rogue!] I really loved this book and definitely recommend it. Man, what an enjoyably juicy tale of the absolute screw-uppery at the Getty. My biggest complaint is that there's maybe a bit too much emphasis on the beginning of the tale rather than the unraveling, but some of that could have been because fully the last 30% of the Kindle version is notes and so I was expecting a different pacing to the story. It seemed to end suddenly, since I didn't know that was the last chunk was notes, as the notes are not linked in the text, which is really too bad, as they seemed to be that really good, contextual sort of endnote. Anyway! Worth picking up if you're interested in the Getty or in a semi-lurid tale of the looting of ancient art.
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I found this to be a very interesting read, given my research into some of the objects in question.
A jaw-dropping, page-turner of a must-read for anyone who frequents museums, especially the Getty.
A very poignant exposé on how museums operated for generations.
Loved it!
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