Goldberg's Angel

Goldberg's Angel

An Adventure in the Antiquities Trade

Book - 1994
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This book relates the adventures of a Midwestern art dealer who, on a trip to Europe, bought four rare Early Christian mosaics, including one luminous depiction of an angel with which she fell in love. It is also the work of a writer telling his own story - a writer who, as he tried to explore the shady side of the lawsuit brought by the Republic of Cyprus against Peg Goldberg for the return of the mosaics, found himself drawn into a bizarre underworld where antiquities are bought, sold, stolen, smuggled, and disowned. In Indianapolis, Peg Goldberg lost possession of her angel, yet the plaintiff's victory only deepened the mysteries. In Amsterdam, Munich, Vienna, and Cyprus, where Dan Hofstadter tried to chase down the facts (I couldn't find people, they couldn't find me, we fixed appointments somewhere in a vast night filled with the fragrance of jasmine, radios wailing lovesick balladry, murmurous tides of chatter and laughter), he was told amazing half-truths by picturesque characters in odd situations. It grew harder and harder to answer the most basic questions: . How had the plundered mosaics come on the market? Why did government authorities seem so ignorant of smugglers operating under their noses, and American museums seem so curiously well informed? Had a flamboyant Dutch middleman cut a deal on the side? Who was the Serbian engineer who called himself Benjamin and knew so much? And was the unseen Turk who had sold Peg the angel really a state archaeologist, or was he several people, or nobody at all? Goldberg's Angel - part legal thriller, part mystery, part hilarious chronicle of wildly complicated monkeyshines - celebrates the unaccountable beauty and power of the arttreasures we daily buy and sell. More, it revels in the dark comedy of our eternal need to embellish, distort, and sidestep the truth.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, ©1994.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374105075
Branch Call Number: 364.162/HOFSTADTER
Characteristics: ix, 241 pages ; 22 cm


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