Art crime

Art crime flourished during pandemic year, Interpol survey shows

Figures indicate fewer museum thefts, more illegal excavations

Catherine Hickleyabout 12 hours ago

Northern Ireland's art market mired in post-Brexit confusion

Experts fear country could become "gateway to Europe for illicit cultural property", while new asset seizure powers—which include art—are being introduced to help criminal investigations into unexplained wealth

Riah Pryor1 day ago

A return of the knockers? How criminals gain the trust of the elderly and vulnerable in order to steal their art and antiques

The conviction of the father-and-son duo, Des and Gary Pickersgill, for the thefts of around £1.7m from an elderly widow's home, brings renewed focus on the threat of antique “knockers”

Podcastfeature

What distinguishes an art criminal from a regular crook?

The host of the Art Bust podcast argues that the nature and purpose of art crime–and by extension, of the art detectives who fight it—has changed in recent years

Secrets and lies: the role of restorers in art crime

Regulation of the conservation profession may be a start, but can it quash the “ego” that often motivates restorers-turned-forgers?

Art world rushes to conform to UK's anti-money laundering laws

So far a total of 475 "art market participants" have been registered—but delays mean more are likely to comply in the coming months

California man admits to selling over $1m in forged art, purportedly by Richard Hambleton and Barkley Hendricks

Jason Harrington pleaded guilty to selling phony paintings to at least 15 galleries and individuals between 2018 and 2020

What the US government sanctions of prominent Bulgarian art collector Vassil Bojkov mean for the art market

Oligarch is blacklisted as countries ramp up regulation and authorities move yet another step closer to the art world

Mexican man arrested by FBI for attempting to sell allegedly fake works by Basquiat and Haring

Angel Pereda was offering paintings and sculptures by the artists to auction houses in New York

Greek police recover Picasso and Mondrian paintings stolen nine years ago in major heist

Authorities have reportedly arrested a man after the paintings were found in a gorge

Interpol launches app to identify stolen art—and it has already been used to discover loot

Spanish police say they used the ID-art programme to successfully spot stolen Roman coins worth €200,000

How a Van Gogh painting was stolen from a Cairo museum—not once, but twice

The Khalil Museum, with its fabled Impressionists in a mansion by the Nile, has reopened after an 11-year renovation—without Vincent’s flower still-life

a blog by Martin Bailey

Dutch police arrest over Van Gogh smash-and-grab raid: how long until the landscape is recovered?

The suspect is linked to a Frans Hals theft, which should help track down paintings from two museums

a blog by Martin Bailey

Can Netflix help solve the Isabella Stewart Gardner art heist?

Plus, vaccine passports in museums and Gossaert's Adoration

Massachusetts man arrested for breaking into Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with a stolen painting

The man allegedly opened an emergency door at the museum and threw in a painting he had stolen from a nearby gallery days earlier

Congolese activist who tried to seize an artefact from the Louvre is fined €5,000

Mwazulu Diyabanza says that “museums do not deserve respect” as restitution debate intensifies

Samsung partners with art crime expert to hunt for world's missing masterpieces

Paintings by Monet, Van Gogh and Cézanne, which were stolen in dramatic art heists, are available to view online

Artful codgers: why the art market is a hotbed of grey crime

The recent case of a 71-year-old dealer convicted of art fraud is far from unique—in fact, elderly offenders could be on the rise

Man tries to take artefact from Louvre—just two weeks after being charged for the same crime at Quai Branly

Congolese activist Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza, fined €1,000 earlier this month, will go to court again later today

Criminal claims 13 works from legendary Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist are hidden in a Dublin house

BBC4 documentary—released today—unpicks theory that the stolen art was shipped to Ireland

Stolen Mao Zedong scroll worth $300m found cut in half

Hong Kong police have arrested three men in relation to a $645m heist that included calligraphy by the Communist leader and other revolutionary art and ephemera

Two Manhattan antiquities dealers arrested on charges of fraud

Authorities have accused Erdal Dere and Faisal Khan of running an alleged scheme to swindle buyers by using fake provenances

Brazilnews

Court-ordered auction of works from disgraced Brazilian banker's collection prompts new controversy

The Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of São Paulo claims it is owed $3.6m for conserving and storing around 1,600 works repossessed from bankrupt Banco Santos president Edemar Cid Ferreira

Will US Congress finally pass anti-money laundering legislation?

A recent Senate report found that secretive art market enables sanctions circumvention

Man who punched £20m Picasso painting at Tate Modern is jailed for 18 months

Repairing the piece—on long-term loan from a private collection—will take more than a year and cost up to £350,000

Experts weigh in on alleged art forgery ring in Michigan

Art historians explain why the work of lesser known artists with rising markets, like George Copeland Ault and Gertrude Abercrombie, might become the target of a fakes scheme

California man sentenced to five years in prison for $6m international art fraud scheme

Philip Righter pleaded guilty to selling works fraudulently attributed to Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, among others

The destruction of Australia’s ancient Aboriginal heritage

Plus, art under threat in Putin's Russia and George Shaw on Thomas Jones. Produced in association with Christie's

Hosted by Ben Luke. with guest speaker Sophia Kishkovsky. Produced by Julia Michalska, David Clack and Aimee Dawson

Spanish dealer claims to find long-lost Frida Kahlo painting

Missing for six decades, La Mesa Herida (The Wounded Table) may be in a London warehouse, but experts say the work is likely a fake

Van Gogh held hostage: private detective tells us he has more photographs

Will Arthur Brand’s images of the stolen painting lead to a recovery?

a blog by Martin Bailey

German art dealer and socialite Angela Gulbenkian arrested in Lisbon

Accused of fraudulent sales of a Kusama pumpkin sculpture and a Warhol print, the dealer and collector awaits extradition to the UK after missing court hearing

Fugitive art dealer Inigo Philbrick found on Pacific Island, charged with $20m fraud scheme

London and Miami-based Philbrick, on the run since October, was arrested by FBI on Vanuatu on Thursday

Art theft: are museums safe under lockdown?

Plus, Laura Cumming on Breugel. Produced in association with Christie's

Hosted by Ben Luke. , with guest speaker Martin Bailey. Produced by Julia Michalska, David Clack and Aimee Dawson
Art crimecomment

Don't let your guard down: three things you can do now to protect your art during the pandemic

With sparse personnel and visitors, some criminals will try to see if the “closed” sign actually means “open”, say K2 Intelligence FIN's art crime experts

In recent decades 28 Van Goghs have been stolen in the Netherlands—but all have been recovered

Detectives are intensifying their investigation into the latest crime, at Laren’s Singer museum, which was committed this week on the artist’s birthday

a blog by Martin Bailey
Art theftanalysis

Boomerang art thefts: the stolen art that finds its way back

From a Van Gogh left in a public toilet to a Klimt found inside a gallery wall, just what is it that prompts criminals to return such valuable works?

Birthday heist: Van Gogh painting stolen from Dutch museum on anniversary of artist's birth

The Singer Laren museum in the Netherlands is currently on lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic

Three paintings—including valuable Van Dyck portrait—stolen from Oxford University gallery

London-based Old Masters dealer says that the works are “an unusual group to steal—neither priceless nor small fry”

Suspect list in stolen Klimt saga grows

A woman connected to the museum where the painting was found is under investigation by the Italian police

Lootnews

Looted ancient temple sculpture—seized by UK police—will go home to Afghanistan

British Museum and Art Loss Register collaborate over recovery of ancient bull decoration that was consigned to an online auction

Fraudnews

German socialite Angela Gulbenkian faces second criminal case over Warhol print

The Munich-based dealer and collector is also due to stand trial in London for allegedly stealing £1.1m in Kusama pumpkin sale

Crime news

Released but still under investigation: Russian couple embroiled in fraud scandal

Igor and Olga Toporovsky linked to controversial show of Russian avant-garde works in Ghent

Why do courts lack conviction in art cases?

Collapse of Bulmer theft case is just the latest in string of failed art-related convictions

Federal charges could lead to deeper scrutiny of Cambodian art in the US

Major museums hold works linked to prolific collector accused of smuggling and fraud

Stolen 'Klimt' found hidden in a wall will take a month to authenticate, officials say

Gardener discovered the painting behind a metal plate on an exterior wall at Italy's Ricci Oddi gallery

Lawsuitscomment

Dodgy dealers beware: anti-fraud lawsuits are on the rise

A spate of fraudulent agents in the dock this year give the art trade a bad image—even if only a few individuals are involved

Why the Dresden jewel heist wasn’t worth a billion, but why the Germans are still really upset

Thieves stole Baroque jewels from the Green Vault earlier this week after breaking in through a window

Thieves steal priceless Baroque jewels from Dresden museum

After breaking in through a window at the Green Vault, the intruders grabbed three royal jewellery ensembles containing diamonds and pearls

Los Angeles police recover $800,000 worth of stolen lithographs by Scottish artist Benjamin Creme

Missing since 2012, around 1,300 prints have been returned to their rightful owner, who used to sell Creme's works

Painter linked to Old Master forgery case appeals arrest warrant

Italian court postpones decision over Lino Frongia's arrest and transfer to France until February

'Prominent' Berlin art dealer arrested on suspicion of fraud

Police has raided seven premises in connection with the investigation

Money laundering, trafficking, ivory: crackdown on art crime intensifies

Wave of sentencing and changes in legislation puts pressure on art world

Man who stole painting in broad daylight from Moscow museum is sentenced to three years in prison

Denis Chuprikov took the landscape from State Tretyakov Gallery with the aim of "causing hype", he says

Art crimeanalysis

Seller beware: how to avoid being duped by an artful dodger

Timothy Sammons misled clients over sales of works by artists including Picasso

Two stolen Van Goghs go back on display after 14-year ordeal at the hands of Italian gangsters

Conservation at the Amsterdam museum has revealed a fake Vincent signature on the genuine seascape

a blog by Martin Bailey

Artist recreates exiled dictator's treasure trove in 3D—but what happened to the originals?

Pio Abad and Frances Wadsworth Jones's replicas of jewels smuggled into Hawaii by Imelda Marcos are displayed at the Honolulu Biennial alongside the social services they could have paid for

FBI launches campaign to return haul of Native and South American works

Thousands of illegally removed items—including human bones—were discovered on collector’s farm

London dealers embroiled in Ezra Chowaiki fraud scheme over $1.2m Chagall painting

Fresh complaint seeks the return of the work allegedly sold by the disgraced Manhattan dealer under false pretences

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. Read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Customise