Guillaume Deprez is an independent art historian, with both academic and practical art and antiques knowledge, having worked for a London auction house and in the antiques trade in London, Brussels and Paris.
Deprez's academic education includes the Louvre School Diploma, one of the world's best art history schools, where the student gets to learn about all civilisations, from prehistory to modern times, where the teachers are the Louvre curators, and the school is a preparation for a curatorship.
The author did not wait for the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001 to be concerned about the wilful destruction of the world's heritage, as already in 1994 he wrote an article in the Louvre School student's newspaper about the destruction of art, of statues melted for cannons or burnt for lime.
Awestruck by the achievements of civilisation up to 5,000 years ago, he wanted to learn more about them. The more he learned, the more he tried to grasp how they ended up forgotten and buried underneath the sand.
Eventually Deprez realised that the destruction of heritage and civilisation wasn't ineluctable but was often intentional.
It piqued his curiosity, but for someone wishing to understand and quantify the loss and its causes, there did not seem to be any book clearly laying out the issue.
So, as the saying goes, “if you find a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it”.
Lost Treasures is a literary effort written with the intention to share these discoveries with the public, to have a conversation about the need to preserve the common heritage of mankind and therefore avoid another regression of humanity's genius.
It should not read as a tragic tale, but as an optimistic call for tolerance.
We live in a world with billions of human beings and a dazzling variety of cultures and languages. Once we realise the futility of trying to have others think, believe or look like ourselves; we no longer need fear humanity's bewildering complexity.
Enlightened, we can all marvel at the common heritage of mankind.