November 14, 2014
Only a few days after publishing a list of disputed artefacts, the Guardian has now also published a list of looted artefacts..
Many of the comments I made in my introduction to the original piece still stand. It has been stated in the past that each artefact dispute is unique & should be judged on its own merits (i.e. the argument that return would set a precedent is unfounded). This lists shows just how diverse the category of looted artefacts is.
I’m also not quite sure how a list of the ten most notorious looted artworks can manage to omit the Parthenon Marbles.
From Napoleon to the Nazis: the 10 most notorious looted artworks
Romans, Nazis, Victorian-era Brits, noughties cat-burglars – they have all stolen priceless works. Here are the most shocking art thefts of the last two millennia
Thursday 13 November 2014 17.31 GMT
Looting has been part of human behaviour since ancient times. The Romans did it in their very first conquest, in 396 BC. They stripped the city of Veii of anything valuable and established a template for looting that lasted over 2,000 years. It was only in 1815 that the Congress of Vienna made the first serious effort at post-conflict restitution of plundered art.
After the Romans it became standard practice for a victor to remove all treasure from the vanquished, to weaken their status. Booty also provided handy funds to pay for military campaigns.
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