Beautiful Loot

Beautiful Loot

The Soviet Plunder of Europe's Art Treasures

Book - 1995
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Baker & Taylor
Reveals the Soviet Union's 1945 confiscation of millions of priceless German art treasures and the recent admission by Russian cultural authorities that secret depositories of hidden items still exist. 15,000 first printing.

Book News
Two museum directors in the Soviet Union document how Russians stole millions of art objects from European museums and private collectors during the last days of World War II and hid them in secret depositories for 50 years. The treasures were to serve as reparation for the damage and suffering the Nazis had caused. A planned museum to make the art available to the Russian people was never built because many of the works were found to be too cosmopolitan for the Communist Party officials. Illustrated in black and white. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Blackwell North Amer
In what has been called one of the most important pieces of investigative journalism ever undertaken in the art world, Konstantin Akinsha and Grigorii Kozlov tell the story of how the Russians stole millions of art objects from European museums and private collectors in the final days of World War II and hid them away for fifty years. The Nazi confiscation of art from Jewish families and occupied countries has been well documented, but the story of what happened to the art after the Nazis were defeated in 1945 was virtually unknown until recently.
Secret "trophy brigades" were established early in 1945, with specific instructions from Stalin to remove art from Germany and ship it back to the USSR on special trains. This operation began while the fighting was still going on and was conducted at a frenzied pace for several months. It was the most prodigious transport operation of artworks in the history of mankind. Trophies were being removed from Germany as late as 1948.
Works by such masters as Botticelli, El Greco, Goya, Delacroix, Picasso, Velazquez, Matisse, Renoir, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian, and Degas made their way to the Soviet Union.
It was not until the late 1980s, when the Soviet Union began to dissolve, that it was possible to piece together this story. Akinsha and Kozlov were instrumental in revealing it to the West and in forcing Russian authorities to acknowledge the existence of the secret depositories. The Hermitage exhibited its collection of previously hidden Impressionist paintings early in 1995, but the Russians have been adamant in their refusal to return the stolen things, and the fate of the trophy art continues to be hotly debated.

Baker
& Taylor

Reveals the Soviet Union's 1945 confiscation of millions of priceless German art treasures and the recent admission that secret depositories still exist

Publisher: New York : Random House, c1995
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780679443896
0679443894
Branch Call Number: 709.43 AKI
Characteristics: xiii, 301 p., [32] p. of plates : ill., map ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Hochfield, Sylvia
Kozlov, Grigorii

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