Having spent more than a few hours poking around abandoned houses in rural South Carolina over the years, I couldn’t help but be captivated by a post from Like the Dew ‘s Tom Poland titled Old Home Places.

Many a time while in search of elusive largemouth bass I’ve pulled my car over, trampled through briars and stepped up into a house that’s been uninhabited for 40 years or more.

It’s usually easy to date the last inhabitants by the newspapers scattered on the floor or the calendar hanging on the wall.

Most recently, I came across a long-empty home in Newberry County this past weekend that might have been 700 square feet in all. No inside bathroom. One small fireplace. The remnants of a refuse pit in the back. Ten miles from the nearest town of any size.

Read the rest of this entry »

In an effort to simplify the search for artwork and other cultural items looted by the Nazis in France and Belgium during World War II, the Jewish Claims Conference has posted a catalogue of plundered items online.

The list, accompanied by photographs, is intended to help families and their heirs in their quest for items seized more than 60 years ago. 

In addition, museums, art dealers and auction houses can also use the data bank to verify that they are not handling stolen works of art, according to the organization.

The database record of more than 20,000 works of art looted by the Nazis from Jews in France and Belgium during World War II shows that at least half have yet to be returned to their original owners, according to Reuters.

Read the rest of this entry »