Art crime

Crime news

Eight men found guilty of Banksy theft at Bataclan in Paris

Seven individuals given jail terms for stealing “sad girl” tribute work

Crime news

British art dealer faces trial in the US for alleged part in Inigo Philbrick’s ‘ponzi-like scheme’

Robert Newland worked for Philbrick’s secondary market business Modern Collections before stints at Hauser & Wirth and Superblue

UK’s revenue and customs agency begins handing out fines to art market players

HMRC is penalising art world "participants" that have failed to register under the new anti-money laundering legislations

Antiquities trafficking case escalates as Louvre Abu Dhabi joins civil action and Swiss collector files criminal complaint

In wake of scandal involving former Louvre director, France's culture minister forms taskforce to assess acquisitions procedures at museums

Art theftfeature

The shocking story of a Picasso painting that was brazenly stolen and held at ransom by the 'Australian Cultural Terrorists'

Weeping Woman is one of the star works in the new exhibition Picasso Century at Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria

Eight men accused of stealing a Banksy from the Bataclan concert hall in Paris go on trial

The crooks removed the mural that was painted on an emergency exit door of the Parisian concert hall, though there is disagreement over who ordered the theft

Egyptian antiquities connected to international trafficking ring seized from Metropolitan Museum in New York

Five objects worth more than €3m have been confiscated by authorities as part of a wide-ranging global investigation involving former Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez

Co-organiser of Anna Sorokin exhibition claims she is owed thousands of dollars for putting on show

A California-based artist says she put expenses totaling $8,000 on her credit card to help stage Sorokin’s solo show in March

Seized antiquities sent from Ukraine to go on show at British Museum

Hoard of medieval metalwork had been illegally mailed to the UK, and will be sent to Kyiv museum when safe to do so

The hunt for looted Cambodian objects—are they hidden in the West's museums?

Plus, the dark truth of the Marcos family’s extravagance and Ruth Asawa at Modern Art Oxford

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Art crimeanalysis

NFTs are accelerating the pace of art crime—here's how digital sleuths are sharpening their tools to fight wrongdoers online

Lawmakers must now contend with a new era of discord channels, smart contracts and open-source intelligence to combat cyber criminals

Former Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez charged in connection with antiquities trafficking investigation

Martinez has been indicted for “complicity of gang fraud and laundering“ of objects purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Louvre Abu Dhabi

Former Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez questioned by police as part of probe into alleged antiquities trafficking ring

Investigation focuses on purchases made by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Dealer Inigo Philbrick sentenced to seven years in prison

Philbrick pleaded guilty to an $86m fraud in November in one of the art world's highest-profile criminal lawsuits in decades

Pop-up show of 'Soho scammer' Anna Sorokin's prison drawings takes over Manhattan hotel lobby

The one-night event during Frieze Week in New York also gave attendees the opportunity to buy prints of Sorokin's satiric prison sketches

Disgraced dealer Douglas Chrismas ordered to repay $14.2m in profits from art sales

Chrismas, who was arrested by the FBI in 2021, is also facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted in a separate criminal case

FBI repatriates smuggled artefacts, artworks and other objects to Peru

The returned objects include artefacts from the collection of amateur archaeologist Donald Miller, the subject of a high-profile raid in 2014

Crypto collectors beware: why online wallets are increasingly vulnerable to theft

NFTs are a major new economy and with every major new economy, there is a big new scam

Art crimepreview

Anna Sorokin, art world scammer facing deportation from US, is the star of New York exhibition

The pop-up show ‘Free Anna Delvey’ includes a work Sorokin made in prison, as well as pieces by dozens of other artists

Belgian cuts to art crime policing weaken ‘intelligence gathering’

Decision follows years of uncertainty around dwindling enforcement funding

Booksreview

From Modigliani to Imelda Marcos, museum thefts to market machinations: renowned German investigative reporters present an arresting story of art crime

The authors’ overview of the types of art crime includes serious analysis—and some entertaining tales

Art marketanalysis

A swindler’s playground: why is the art market so appealing to fraudsters?

Indian antiquities dealer Monson Mavunkal is currently in custody following a string of fraud allegations, including trying to sell a walking stick he said belonged to Moses. But he is not the first con artist to target the art world

Fraud: the case of Inigo Philbrick

Plus, Warhol’s Catholicism and Moscow’s new museums

Hosted by Ben Luke. with guest speaker Georgina Adam. Produced by Julia Michalska, Aimee Dawson and David Clack. With Henrietta Bentall
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Crime news

Pablo Escobar, Ernest Hemingway and a drug-smuggling NFL player covered in vaseline: new podcast explores the crazy story behind a ceramic that could be by Picasso

Steve Kough also stole three paintings from the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1982—while on trial for conspiracy to distribute marijuana

Crime news

Trial begins for Spanish museum director accused of spending €3.4m on forged works

Consuelo Císcar, the former director of the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, is said to have bought works attributed to Gerardo Rueda—but that were painted by his son

Art crime flourished during pandemic year, Interpol survey shows

Figures indicate fewer museum thefts, more illegal excavations

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

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