Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World's Richest Museum

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HMH, May 24, 2011 - Art - 384 pages
2 Reviews

A “thrilling, well-researched” account of years of scandal at the prestigious Getty Museum (Ulrich Boser, author of The Gardner Heist).
 
In recent years, several of America’s leading art museums have voluntarily given up their finest pieces of classical art to the governments of Italy and Greece. Why would they be moved to such unheard-of generosity? The answer lies at the Getty, one of the world’s richest and most troubled museums, and scandalous revelations that it had been buying looted antiquities for decades. Drawing on a trove of confidential museum records and candid interviews, these two journalists give us a fly-on-the-wall account of the inner workings of a world-class museum, and tell a story of outlandish characters and bad behavior that could come straight from the pages of a thriller.
 
“In an authoritative account, two reporters who led a Los Angeles Times investigation reveal the details of the Getty Museum’s illicit purchases, from smugglers and fences, of looted Greek and Roman antiquities. . . . The authors offer an excellent recap of the museum’s misdeeds, brimming with tasty details of the scandal that motivated several of America’s leading art museums to voluntarily return to Italy and Greece some 100 classical antiquities worth more than half a billion dollars.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
“An astonishing and penetrating look into a veiled world where beauty and art are in constant competition with greed and hypocrisy. This engaging book will cast a fresh light on many of those gleaming objects you see in art museums.” —Jonathan Harr, author of The Lost Painting

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kaitanya64 - LibraryThing

This book focuses on the infighting and shady dealing of the Getty Museum in looted antiquities, mainly from Greece and Italy. But it also exposes the problem museums and private collectors generally ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lushrain - LibraryThing

I found it super enjoyable. It laid out this story in a way that was easy to follow and very compelling. Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
Part I Windfalls and Coverups
7
Part II The Temptation of Marion True
111
Part III After Such Knowledge What Forgiveness?
194
Beyond Ownership
309
Acknowledgments
315
Notes
318
Further Reading
360
Index
362
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Jason Felch is an investigative reporter with the Los Angeles Times. In 2006 he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting for exposing the role of the J. Paul Getty Museum and other American museums in the black market for looted antiquities. His work has also been honored by Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Education Writers Association, the National Association of Science Writers, and the Society for Environmental Journalism. He lives in Pasadena, California, with his wife and son.

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