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About the author:Ivan Lindsay, who has researched the history of stolen art over many years, deals in old master paintings and Russian Twentieth century art. His enthusiasm and knowledge of his subject is highly evident in this book, which aims to become one of the seminal works on the subject. In his new book, The History of Loot of Stolen art, Ivan Lindsay examines the subject of art theft, listing the major art thieves through history and what they stole and why. Alexander the Great campaigned out of necessity to avoid Macedonian bankruptcy, removing 1,500 tons of gold alone from the Treasuries of the Persian Empire at Susa and Sardis, whereas the Vikings found undefended English monasteries full of gold and silver too tempting to ignore. Ivan Lindsay is an art dealer specializing in European and Russian paintings. He was educated at Eton College and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. After four years in the British Army in South East Asia, he worked in the City of London before becoming an art dealer. He writes and lectures on art and the art market and is currently a Contributing Editor at Spears Magazine.
Ivan Lindsay (Photograph courtesy of Sophie Lindsay Photography) Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Pinterest Follow the Book Tour
- Tell us about your latest book.
The History of Loot and Stolen Art, published by the Unicorn Press, is a journey through history looking at the exploits of the leading looters. The book includes chapters on figures such as Alexander the Great, Francis Drake, Napoleon and Hitler. It explores what they stole and why.
- Where did the idea for the book come from?
As an art dealer I studied stolen art primarily to make sure I didn’t buy any. I became interested in the subject and ended up studying it and giving some lectures on it. I gave a lecture based on a précis of the book to the Mensa Society at Magdalene College, Cambridge University in 2008 and people started suggesting the subject would make a good book and asking me if I was going to write it…..so I did.
- Who and what inspire you to write?
I always liked reading great authors, both the classics and contemporary.
- Each author has his or her own inspiring journey. How did you begin writing?
About 10 years ago I was asked to write a couple of articles for magazines about my field: art and the art market. Before I knew it I was writing regular articles and became a contributing editor at Spears magazine. The books followed as I became more interested in writing.
- What has been the most pleasant surprise about writing? How about an unexpected down side?
There has been no downside for me and no particular surprises either. Writing is how I imagined it to be.
- Do you have any writing rituals?
- Do you write your books in order?
I have only written 2 books and this is the first one to be published. My other book is an adventure novel but I haven’t published it as I didn’t feel it was that good. I believe I can make it much better when I have the time to return to it.
- What is on your writing playlist for this book?
Not sure what this question means?
- Any favorite writing snacks?
Coffee in the morning to keep the energy going.
- What advice would you give writers who aspire to be published?
Don’t be discouraged by publishers or agents having no interest in your book. If it’s good you will eventually find someone who is interested. Most publishers now only want to publish books where they think they can sell a million copies in airports.
- Are you working on anything new right now?
No, but I am keen to start working on my novel again. If the art market cools down at some point and I have more time then that’s what I am going to do. I have a great story but the character development needs considerable work.
- Who is your favorite character in your current book?
I think most of the characters in my book are interesting. It’s an examination of the abuse of power. Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin were all interesting characters.
- What is your favorite book of all time?
That’s like asking what’s your favorite painting of all time? There are many great books, all great in different ways, and no one clear favorite.
- Tell us in one sentence why we should read your book.
This book is a fascinating tale of skullduggery, greed and avarice that will appeal to anyone who is interested in the ability of absolute power to corrupt absolutely.