Art theft

China cracks down on sale of stolen antiquities and archives

Following a 16-year-long case, involving stolen national treasures offered at auction in 2020, experts say more resources are needed to help people avoid unwittingly selling looted items

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

Belgian cuts to art crime policing weaken ‘intelligence gathering’

Decision follows years of uncertainty around dwindling enforcement funding

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

Art crime flourished during pandemic year, Interpol survey shows

Figures indicate fewer museum thefts, more illegal excavations

Last photograph of Lucian Freud’s stolen Francis Bacon portrait published for first time

Image taken at Neue Nationalgalerie moments before the 1988 theft features in a new book of the artist’s copper paintings

Police appeal for information after Kansas City's 7ft-tall bronze statue of Native American woman disappears into thin air

Memorial sculpture, valued at $80,000, may have been stolen so the metal could be sold to a scrapyard

German socialite Angela Gulbenkian pleads guilty to theft in London court

The charges against her stemmed from the fraudulent sale of a £1.1m Yayoi Kusama pumpkin sculpture to a Hong Kong collector, while a similar claim against her over a Warhol portrait remains in German court

'The biggest mistake of my life': 49-year-old ‘art freak’ confesses to stealing a Picasso and Mondrian from National Gallery in Athens

During an interrogation with Greek police, a construction worker explains what drove him to commit a brazen heist in 2012

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

Slash and burn: does artistic sabotage always pay off?

A slashed Velázquez and a burnt Banksy achieved notoriety, but vandalism in the name of the NFT faces ethical hurdles

Crime news

Number of art thefts in Italy plummets—partly thanks to drones

New report by special police force finds increase in security and surveillance technology has dissuaded dealers in stolen art

Theftsnews

Thieves steal rosary beads carried by Mary Queen of Scots to her execution

Around £1m worth of artefacts were taken from Arundel Castle in West Sussex on Friday

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

Rare medieval reliquary—stolen near Siena 32 years ago—discovered at collector's home in Sicily

Carabinieri's recovery of the San Galgano collection of “unprecedented importance”

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

Local man charged in attempted robbery from Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery

George Haag, who has pleaded not guilty, says he thought the portrait of Andy Warhol “would look better somewhere else” and “just wanted to make people laugh”

Treats for Van Gogh fans in 2021: exhibitions, museum openings and books

We look ahead at the events to enjoy this year—assuming coronavirus doesn't scupper them

a blog by Martin Bailey

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

Stolen Klimt painting—buried for 20 years—to go back on show at Italian museum

Discovered by the gardener at the Ricci Oddi gallery last year, Portrait of a Lady will be the star of a series of exhibitions on the much-loved artist

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

Art theftanalysis

Steal and repeat: why art gets stolen time and again

When works of art are taken multiple times, it is often more about criminal prestige or bargaining chips for reducing prison sentences

Frans Hals painting stolen from Dutch museum for the third time

Two Laughing Boys with a Mug of Beer was taken in previous heists with a work by Jacob van Ruisdael

Asian art museum located in Israeli kibbutz targeted by thieves

14th-century Buddha and Tang Dynasty sculpture among 27 works stolen by masked burglars from Wilfrid Israel Museum of Asian Art on Tuesday night

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

Trial of Paris gallery over stolen Picasso works delayed until next year due to coronavirus court backlog

A handyman allegedly stole works on paper from the artist’s stepdaughter over three years, before they were discovered in the possession of the owner of Belle et Belle gallery

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