I know, I know….. This new title by Noah Charney isn’t fiction, but having read and reviewed ‘The Art Thief‘ and carried out some research on ‘Art and Crime’, I am fascinated by Noah Charney and his work in the field of art crime prevention and detection.
His new fiction book ‘To Catch The Devil’, is still in the pipe-line……
Teaser for TO CATCH THE DEVIL
During the Second World War, a young Allied Monuments officer intercepts a coded message that suggests that the Nazis are hunting for a lost relic in remote, occupied Slovenia. The officer crosses into hostile territory in order to reach the relic before his Nazi counterpart, but fails to find it.
Decades after the war, the officer, now a retired professor, returns to Slovenia to resume the search. He disappears. This is the story of what happened next.
What begins as a missing persons investigation in the fairy-tale mountains of Slovenia quickly leads to a twisting treasure hunt through a constellation of the effects of belief in the supernatural, art theft during the Second World War, the occult origins of Nazism, and a shocking revelation about the historical proof of the existence of magic.
Noah has written another non-fiction blockbuster, which is due for release in October 2010, and which is now available for pre-order.
This is the gripping story of the world’s most coveted and most frequently stolen art treasure that reveals the underworld of criminal art dealers, crooked collectors, forgers, and Austrian double-agents in Nazi-occupied Europe – and examines the history of art theft and the politics of art in war.
Jan Van Eyck’s “Ghent Altarpiece” is on any art historian’s list of the ten most important paintings ever made. Often referred to by the subject of its central panel, “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb”, it represents the fulcrum between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It is also the most frequently stolen artwork of all time. Since its completion in 1432, this twelve-panel oil painting has disappeared, been looted in three different wars, been burned, dismembered, copied, forged, smuggled, illegally sold, censored, attacked by iconoclasts, hidden castle vaults and secret salt mines, hunted by Nazis and Napoleon, prized by The Louvre and a Prussian king, damaged by conservators, returned as war reparations, used as a diplomatic tool, ransomed, rescued by Austrian double-agents, and stolen a total of thirteen times.
In this fast-paced, real-life thriller, art historian Noah Charney unravels the fascinating, sometimes bizarre and dramatic stories of each of these thefts. He chronicles the “Ghent Altarpiece’s” 600 years of near constant movement, tracing it as it passes through the hands of some of history’s most famous figures, including Hitler and Goring. With its theft in the Second World War, and the subsequent Allied hunt to rescue it from destruction at the hands of the Nazis, the quest to save this one painting became a race to save the treasures of civilization.
Charney also explores psychological dramas that lurk within the history of art crime, and the ideological, religious, political, and social motivations that have led many men to covet this one piece of artwork above all others. “Stealing the Mystic Lamb” will mesmerize readers interested in art, war, and the art of deception.