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on June 3, 1999
Those of you who read Lynn Nicholas' astonishing The Rape of Europa will be disappointed by this book, which is in many ways a necessary supplement to Nicholas' spine-tingling work. The record of greed, fear, coercion and barbarism visible behind the glittering surface of the Parisian art world in the 1940's is a truly moving human story. The photographs, all of now-vanished works of modern art, provide a valuable record for the historian, as many of the lost works have never been published. Unfortunately, the book is nearly ruined by a flat and pedestrian writing style. The author may have taken years to write this book, and conducted hundreds of interviews, but one would never know that. Feliciano writes as if he were a USA Today reporter - utterly superficial treatments of serious issues and no sign whatsoever of any personal investment in the story. The art and personalities of the period deserved a better historian than Mr. Feliciano, I am sorry to say. Useful for the documentary information only.
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on June 21, 2007
Other books may relate how the Nazis plundered art, but this book actually led the world to do something about it. You know how you read in the paper all the time that some heir of a Holocaust victim is in a lawsuit to get back valuable paintings? It's directly a result of The Lost Museum. For fifty years, nothing happened in terms of restitution. Feliciano's groundbreaking investigative research is what led museums to examine the provenance of their artwork, caused governments to change their statutes of limitations, and urged heirs to pursue artworks they assumed had long ago vanished.

I wish I could give it more than five stars.
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on July 7, 2008
This was a big hit in France when it came out, but as an English-language book it suffers by comparison to Lynn Nicholas's magisterial 'Rape of Europa,' a vastly better book on the same topic--better written and better researched. Feliciano takes what is, in and of itself, a fascinating, profound story and cheapens it with his overheated writing style. Also, he claims to have made a lot of new documentary discoveries--the Schenker papers, documenting the shipment of looted works within France--which aren't so new, as anyone who reads Nicholas's book knows. Those documents have been publicly accessible since the late 1970s. On the whole I would not recommend this book, but would recommend the Rape of Europa instead.
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on April 2, 1998
A fascinating story about another way the Germans persecuted the countries they conquered during WWII. The writing is not great and there are problems of a linear time-line, but overall an interesting read because it is very obvious the author did a lot of research into this seldom written about part of the war.
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on July 6, 2008
The title of this work should have been something like "Knaves of Art: The complicity of the Paris art market in Nazi theft of Jewish art in World War II.". As such it is well enough told in an episodic way, highlighting through description the moral and ethical positions taken by many people who surely knew what was happening. The pictures of the art galleries disposed of and the pieces of art still missing bring forth both sadness and indignation. This book is not anything like a comprehensive study of the overall Nazi plunder of art which needs to be sought elsewhere. With a more honest title this book might have deserved four stars. Fault the publisher more than the writer.
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on June 12, 1998
Hector Feliciano has done a noble deed, exposing the seamy past of art world collaborators with Nazi Germany. Part detective novel, part thriller, part morality play, it is a "must-read" for anyone who has ever gone to an art museum.
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on June 29, 1998
A repititious summary of art work confiscations by the Nazis, particularly from Jewish galleries, during World War II. Plentiful accusations of greed by cooperating art dealers, including some famous names, during and after the war. The French government to this day has performed questionably in returning works by famous artists to their pre-war owners. The Swiss government, in harmony with its management of Jewish refugee bank deposits, has performed even worse. Over-all, a depressing litany of evil deeds in a poorly structured account of art world activity during the German occupation of France.
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on April 23, 2011
I've read the Lost Museum a number of times for research I am doing on this period. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in WW2 and the devastation caused by the Nazi's. As a fellow journalist I commend Mr. Feliciano for his painstaking work and battling on despite the odds. Bravo, cet oeuvre est un grand succès et je suis sur loin d'être fini. Nous attendons avec impatience la suite!
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on March 28, 2013
This is a very well written book, it does a great job of allowing you to follow the train of events and understand who the players were, even though it was easiest to follow when talking about well known families (ie: the Rothschilds) it also follows in how devastated the collections were. With the Rothschilds being kept mainly together whereas various dealers had degenerate collections thrown to the wind.

The only issue I had, was it spoke about researching an overall plan but mainly spoke only to the art theft in Paris, specifying that would have been nice, but didn't really change how I viewed the book.

The epilogue was honestly the best part of the book, and was heartbreaking, as he goes through explaining how to identify the paintings is MRA and how little would be needed to fix some of these wrongs and even looking into why the museums would be hesitant to do so. I almost wish more of the book had focused on this, even if it is not quite in the scope of his thesis.
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on June 29, 1998
A repititious summary of art work confiscations by the Nazis, particularly from Jewish galleries, during World War II. Plentiful accusations of greed by cooperating art dealers, including some famous names, during and after the war. The French government to this day has performed questionably in returning works by famous artists to their pre-war owners. The Swiss government, in harmony with its management of Jewish refugee bank deposits, has performed even worse. Over-all, a depressing litany of evil deeds in a poorly structured account of art world activity during the German occupation of France.
0Comment4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse