Item Number: 111105
Title: Defending National Treasures : French Art and Heritage Under Vichy
Author: Karlsgodt, Elizabeth Campbell
Price: Not Available
Description: Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011. 24cm., hardcover, 382pp. illus. Summary: Defending National Treasures explores the fate of French art and cultural heritage during the Nazi occupation of France. The French cultural patrimony was a crucial locus of power struggles between German and French leaders and among influential figures in each country. Karlsgodt examines the preservation policy that the Vichy regime enacted in an assertion of sovereignty over French art museums, historic monuments, and archeological sites. The limits to this sovereignty are apparent from German appropriations of public statues, Jewish-owned art collections, and key "Germanic" works of art from French museums. A final chapter traces the lasting impact of the wartime reforms on preservation policy. In Defending National Treasures, Karlsgodt introduces the concept of patrimania, wherein officials succumb to the opportunity to acquire coveted artwork looted from Jewish collections for the Louvre and other museums, and warns that the modern drive to expand museum collections can encourage similar unethical or unlawful acquisitions.
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