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Art and Antiquities: Plunder

Art and antiquities have been plundered on a transnational basis for millennia. Invading armies from time immemorial have seized prized objects as booty from conquered lands. For instance, a stele commemorating the 2250 B.C.E. victory of Naram-Sim of Akkad over the Lullubi was taken, about a thousand years after it was erected, as booty by the Elamites and transported to their capital in Susa, Iran. Rome, the seat of the Roman Empire, was decorated with looted art and antiquities from Greece and other conquered lands. The Napoleonic Wars brought troves of art and antiquities to the Louvre and elsewhere in France. The Nazi Third Reich, with bureaucratic efficiency, plundered millions of objects from private collectors and art museums across Europe. Restitution of works stolen from ...

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