Art crime

Authorities in New York return 14 looted artefacts valued at $2.5m to Italy, including a black-figure hydria by the renowned Priam Painter

The repatriated artefacts were looted by an international network of “high-profile antiquities traffickers and smugglers, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office

Crime news

Ukrainian art dealer found guilty of stealing £1.3m Paul Signac from French museum

Vadym Huzhva handed a five-year sentence for 2018 theft and for stealing four other paintings in France, including a Renoir

Antiquities dealer Ali Aboutaam given 18-month suspended sentence by Geneva court

Decision brings the six-year investigation into the provenance of 15,000 antiquities from Phoenix Ancient Art to an end, with only a handful found to lack proper documentation

Former manager at the Art Institute of Chicago accused of stealing $2m from the museum

The former employee faces four federal charges over an alleged fraud scheme that went on for 13 years

Police recover paintings by Elaine de Kooning and others stolen in Colorado art heist

Paintings worth $400,000 that were stolen from a storage truck on 14 December 2022 have been located in a Colorado hotel room

Art crime specialist honoured by New Zealand for services to field

Penelope Jackson is the author of a book that considers how illicit activity differs when undertaken by women

Crime news

Moscow-based architect, who built ‘Putin’s Palace’, refuses to return to Italy to face trial

Italian Lanfranco Cirillo—whose 150-strong art collection was seized last year—will be tried in absentia by an Italian court next month for tax and money laundering crimes

More than $400,000 of art stolen from a padlocked truck in Boulder, Colorado

Police are investigating the theft of five paintings from a vehicle in a hotel car park

Italian police widen fraud investigation after seizing Rubens painting from Genoa exhibition

The Carabinieri accuse four people of downgrading and illegally exporting the Old Master work, which has now been returned to the show in the Palazzo Ducale

Collector cracks art heist cold case with a pillowcase and reverse Google image search

Decades after it was stolen from the Worcester Art Museum, collector Clifford Schorer spotted a missing Dutch Golden Age painting printed on a throw pillow

Crime news

Following his arrest in Italy, Old Master forgery suspect Giuliano Ruffini is turned over to French authorities

After seven years of investigations, Ruffini has been handed over to French authorities, likely setting the stage for a trial in Paris

Crime news

Police recover bulk of objects stolen in audacious £100m art heist from Dresden museum

Announcement was made during the trial of six men which began in January and is due to resume this week

Paris gallerists—found guilty of selling Picasso works stolen by handyman—receive suspended jail sentences

Belle et Belle gallery has now been dissolved, closing the chapter on a decade-long criminal investigation

Suspected Old Master forger Giuliano Ruffini is arrested in Italy after turning himself in

The 77-year-old, wanted by French police for "fraud, money laundering and forgery of works of art", was released after ten days in custody

Crime news

Suspected Old Master forger Giuliano Ruffini—wanted by French police—cannot be found

The French dealer, who is accused of helping sell a series of forged paintings, has had a warrant out for his arrest since 2019

Alleged Native American scalp seized from auction house specialised in Confederate and Nazi memorabilia

Authorities received an anonymous tip regarding an object listed for sale on the auction house’s website and described as a Mescalero Apache scalp

Manhattan district attorney returns 187 artefacts tied to disgraced dealer Subhash Kapoor to Pakistan

The objects associated with Kapoor, along with another five pieces returned to Pakistan, were cumulatively valued at $3.4m

Stolen statue linked to antiquities trafficker Doris Wiener repatriated to Cambodia

The sandstone vishnu statue was stolen from a seventh-century temple and smuggled to Manhattan in 1995, when it was sold to a private collector

Disgraced antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor sentenced to ten years in prison by Indian court

The ruling culminates an extensive investigation into a smuggling ring headed by Kapoor

Art marketcomment

Charm, pedigree, contacts: how to dupe the art market

Court documents from the ongoing Inigo Philbrick fraud saga reveal that the secretive art market and the sheer attractiveness of its lifestyle will always suck the punters in

NFTnews

Mexican government investigating collector who claims he burned a Frida Kahlo drawing for an NFT charity project

Collector Martin Mobarak purportedly set a 1944 Kahlo drawing on fire in a martini glass while a mariachi band burst into song during a ceremony at his Miami mansion

British art dealer Robert Newland pleads guilty to conspiring with Inigo Philbrick to defraud collectors and financiers

Newland was arrested in the UK in February and extradited to the United States in September, where he admitted his role in the $86m scheme for which Inigo Philbrick was sentenced to seven years in prison

A 2,000-year-old Israeli coin minted during the ‘great Jewish revolt’ repatriated by US authorities

The coin, a Quarter Shekel valued at $1m, was looted in from Israel in 2002 and had been headed for auction before being recovered by US Homeland Security agents in 2017

Wanted in the US, Lebanese antiquities collector maintains his innocence, says his ‘big mistake’ was trusting New York art crime official

Lotfi addresses allegations that led to a warrant being issued for his arrest in a statement and interview, giving new details on the extraordinary story of the Metropolitan Museum's gold sarcophagus

French art dealer Didier Wormser stands trial for trafficking looted Egyptian antiquities

Owner of L’Etoile d’Ishtar gallery said artefacts from Saqqara necropolis “should be restituted to Egypt” but insists he purchased them in good faith

US customs agents seize Ancient Egyptian lid for mummy liver

The artefact, seized in Memphis, Tennessee, was en route to a collector who is believed to have falsified statements regarding its value

Exclusive: German museums latest to be implicated in far-reaching criminal investigation into antiquities trafficking

Case has so far seen Middle Eastern works seized from New York's Met and the indictment of a former Louvre director

Winston Churchill portrait stolen from Canadian hotel and replaced with copy

Staff at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa noticed that the frame of the 1941 photograph did not match others in its reading room

Australian art dealer goes on the run after allegedly ripping off emerging artists

The art dealer Tristian Koenig is accused of selling works by emerging artists and making off with the profits