Looted art

News
Restitution

'We want to be part of the solution': UK museum says it is open to discussing fate of Benin bronze after prince demands its return

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery wants to work in tandem with the Benin Dialogue Group, which is made up of institutions that hold the majority of the pieces

News
Art fairs

Aggressive seizures by police at Brafa leave dealers feeling ‘assaulted’

Authorities brazenly took 34 artefacts during public opening hours at the Brussels fair

News
Restitution

India asks Ashmolean Museum to return 15th-century bronze idol believed stolen from temple

Independent scholar uncovers questionable provenance for the sculpture that the Oxford institution bought from Sotheby's in 1967

News
Loot

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

News
Restitution

Three Nazi-looted works bought by Gurlitt return to Jewish collector’s heirs

Two paintings by Jean-Louis Forain were discovered in Cornelius Gurlitt’s trove; the third work, by Constantin Guys, was restituted by another family member

News
The Year in Review 2019

From trafficked treasures to the ravages of climate change: the heritage headlines of 2019

We look back at the biggest stories of the year

News
Restitution

George Soros's Open Society Foundations pledges $15m to help Africa recover looted heritage

Paid over four years, it will support efforts made by museums, grassroots-organisations and governments

News
Art market

Abuse of diplomatic privilege? How missing art has been linked to embassy officials

Recent cases involving stolen art have raised questions over the behaviour of diplomats

News
Looted art

Looted coffin acquired by Metropolitan Museum is headed back to Egypt

US and Egyptian officials presided over handover at a repatriation ceremony in New York

News
Restitution

German Nazi loot panel divided on Max Stern painting—but returns it to his heirs anyway

For first time, advisory team stipulates that work must not be sold for ten years in case evidence emerges that contradicts its ruling

News
Smuggling

Stolen artefacts from 'prolific art smuggler' returned to India

Objects are reportedly linked to antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor who is facing criminal charges in the US

News
Looted art

US authorities file criminal charges against antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor and seven others

The government’s complaint outlines a massive alleged smuggling ring involving other dealers, art restorers and associates who helped create false provenances for looted objects

Archive
News

War loot surfaces far from Weimar

Tischbein portrait now at Sotheby’s

Archive
Looted art

Top museums in Europe and North America face claims for Dürers looted during World War II

Poland and the Ukraine both want the Lubomirski drawings back

News
Nazi loot

Mass theft of art from East German citizens revealed in new report

Study reveals that up to 8% of museum acquisitions were looted from private citizens

News
Nazi loot

Court case over three Derain paintings will test France's promise to speed up Nazi-era claims

Grandchildren of art dealer René Gimpel accuse French culture ministry of blocking restitution of works hanging in state museums

News
Law

US Supreme Court declines to hear appeal on Nazi-looted art

Norton Simon Museum can keep two Lucas Cranach masterpieces

Comment
Leaders

Gilded coffin gives Met a golden opportunity

To prevent similar high-profile losses in the future, the Met should hire a permanent, full-time provenance curator

News
Looting

Heirs of Baron Herzog continue battle for Nazi-looted art collection despite US Supreme Court dismissal

Decades-long case to reclaim works held in Hungary’s museums will now go through US District Court

News
Ukraine

Ivan the Terrible returns to Ukraine

19th-century oil painting, stolen during the Second World War, was found in the US

News
Austria

Austria returns wrong Klimt to wrong family

Painting of apple trees is pulled from exhibition after admission that its restitution was a mistake

News
Looting

President Rouhani personally takes looted ancient relief back from New York to Tehran

Piece depicting a Persian soldier was seized last year at Tefaf New York

Interview
Looted art

Meet the amateur art sleuth who is helping India recover its stolen antiques

Shipping company executive S. Vijay Kumar was responsible for recovering a Buddha stolen from India 57 years ago among many other looted works

News
Looted art

Looted Renoir is returned to French heir in New York

Granddaughter of Jewish collector flies in for restitution ceremony

News
Law

Court rejects claim to Matisse owned by National Gallery

Rebuffing heirs, an appeals panel in New York says the court lacks jurisdiction

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Starry Night is held by Russian government

Van Gogh drawing had been folded in half in 1945 to fit inside a suitcase

News
Lucas Cranach the Elder

Goudstikker heir files petition for rare rehearing of Cranach claim

Marei von Saher asks an appeals court in California to reconsider her case against the Norton Simon Museum

Review
Books

The tortuous story of Gustav Klimt’s Nazi-looted, 100ft-wide Beethoven Frieze uncovered

New book exploring work's provenance is a must-read for those interested in the contentious field of art restitution

News
Restitution

Angola recovers six artefacts looted from museum during civil war

Dundo Museum's lost objects were traced by the Sindika Dokolo Foundation

News
Cultural policy

UK permits Nazi-looted Meissen figure to leave for Japan despite spoliation claim

There appear to be no winners in what the Arts Council refers to as an “extremely unusual” case

News
Looted art

Berlin’s Ethnological Museum returns Alaskan grave artefacts looted by explorer

The objects “do not belong in our museums”, says the president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

News
Looted art

Hamburg museum says its Benin bronzes could return to Nigeria—but not yet

Applied arts institution is showing the sculptures in a looted art exhibition

News
Restitution

Damning report says France must catch up, fast, in return of Nazi-era loot

Heritage expert calls for new government taskforce to guide provenance research and even rule on restitution cases

News
Restitution

German researchers trace Jewish newspaper mogul’s vast Nazi-looted art collection

The Mosse Art Research Project, a cooperation with the German government, identifies eight works and launches online database

News
Looting

Will the British Museum lend Nigeria the Benin bronzes?

Planned museum in Benin City offers safe environment for Western collections, the country says

News
Looting

Scotland Yard joins global crackdown on looted pharaonic antiquities

The initiative, which involves governments and the art world, will set up a public database of objects

News
Looted art

Germany to fund museum investigations into provenance of colonial-era artefacts

The German Lost Art Foundation, which also looks into Nazi-loot, will allocate the government grants

News

Louvre shines a light on Nazi loot

Museum hopes to find rightful heirs through display of spoliated works

News
Restitution

Germany names new head of Nazi-looted art panel

Hans-Jürgen Papier fills post held by Jutta Limbach until her death last year

News
Openings

Washington's new $500m Museum of the Bible claims 'non-sectarian' mission

Private institution is funded by evangelical Hobby Lobby chairman, Steve Green

News
Looted art

Düsseldorf abruptly cancels exhibition about Jewish dealer Max Stern

City authorities cite ongoing restitution claims as reason for decision

News
Looted art

Painting looted from Hitler to be auctioned in Cologne

Van Ham to offer Franz von Stuck portrait in 17 November sale

News
Restitution

Painting in Gurlitt hoard identified as Nazi loot—thanks to a tiny repair hole

Portrait by Thomas Couture belonged to a French politician who opposed the Nazis

News
Looted art

Islamic State's looting of antiquities is rising but hard facts remain scarce

Experts question the reported size of illicit trade, particularly as the number of fake artefacts increases

Blog
In the frame

Draw your own conclusions

Fill in the blanks of art crimes solved and unsolved with two new adult colouring books

Interview
Anne Webber

How can museums speed up the return of art looted during the Nazi era?

Conference at London's National Gallery this week looks at how the process can be accelerated

Archive
War & Conflict

Curators, art historians and museum directors sought by the US Army to provide expert advice in combat zones

Wanted: a new generation of Monuments Men

Archive
Islamic State

Director of V&A proposes network of museums to stop terrorists looting objects in Syria and trafficking them for sale in the West

V&A fights back against Islamic State

Archive
Museums

Australia's ill-advised purchase of Indian artefact

The National Gallery of Australia bought the Shiva statue despite uncertainty over its provenance

Archive
Cambodia

The US announces plans to to return more Khmer Cambodian artefacts, adding momentum to Cambodia's quest for restitution

Cambodian officials believe the last two looted works out of seven are in Denver Art Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art

Archive
Cambodia

Light is finally being shed on the issue of restitution of looted art

The restitution of Cambodian statues by major museums and auction houses is an encouraging sign

Archive
Cambodia

Sotheby's Cambodian smuggling saga quietly resolved out of court

The auction house returns statue and is cleared of wrongdoing as federal government drops allegations

Archive
Cambodia

Western museums under pressure from China, Turkey, and Cambodia to fulfil restitution claims

The number of artefacts under restitution claims is rising

Archive
Looted art

The Dutch government gives up its claim on Nazi loot

The decision not to appeal cannot but weaken its claim to other war booty such as the Koenigs collection still held in Russia

Archive
Collectors

Many Chinese collectors use their wealth to repatriate once-looted objects

Why bringing it back home is a mark of respect

Archive
Collectors

How the missing Zodiac fountain heads continue to be a sore point for China

Several have appeared at auction in recent years; the whereabouts of five remain unknown

Archive
Restitution

'Where is the crown of Maqdala?', V&A asks Ethiopia

Crown that was returned in 1925 has disappeared

Archive
News

Ukraine suffered “colossal” looting during World War II

New research challenges Russians’ claim that they own many cultural valuables from the independent state

Archive
Restitution

Minneapolis hands Léger to collector’s family

The painting was stolen from its Jewish owner during the Nazi occupation of France

Archive
Restitution

US collector returns artefacts to Greece

Shelby White restitutes a marble relief fragment and a bronze calyx krater, both from the fourth century BC

Archive
Benin Bronzes

Lehman gift of Benin treasures to Museum of Fine Arts angers Nigeria

Works looted by the British and reassembled by banking heir find permanent home in Boston

Archive
National Museum of Iraq

Two books survey the deterioration of Iraq's cultural heritage fives years after war took hold

Sorry tales of devastation and waste, with little hope on the horizon

Archive
Art market

Insurance for war loot claims on the rise

Increasing numbers of private collectors, dealers, museums, and banks have been buying policies to protect their assets

Archive
Iraq

5 years after the Baghdad Museum's looting, a little optimism is finally appropriate: Interview with the British Museum's John Curtis

The situation at the Baghdad Museum remains bleak but thieves are less of a problem at archaeological sites

Archive
Lawsuits

Dodgy dealers, curators and collectors named in the Marion True trial in Rome

The latest in the trial of former Getty antiquities curator, Marion True, and the Paris-based dealer Robert Hech both charged with conspiring to receive illegally excavated antiquities

Archive
Looted art

The German museum paintings secretly sold by the British government in 1946

Nearly 80 pictures, including works by Cranach and Kauffmann, were seized from the German embassy in London

Archive
Commercial galleries

Iran loses case against Barakat Gallery ordering return of artefacts seemingly taken from Jiroft

UK courts ruled that Iran presented insufficient evidence to warrant the antiquities' reacquisition

Archive
Restitution

Germans call for return of paintings in the National Maritime Museum seized by British troops

The London museum has turned down two previous requests for restitution

Archive
Lawsuits

Norwegian collector to sue British university for return of his antiquities

But scholars say they are likely to have been looted from Iraq

Archive
Looted art

Revealed: six paintings in Maritime Museum were seized by British troops from Nazi Germany

Last month we reported that a Nazi picture in the London gallery was taken by British soldiers at the end of World War II. We have now discovered that other works of art were also removed

Archive
Looted art

The US Army’s hidden collection of Nazi art

Around 450 paintings made by artists working for the Third Reich are now in Washington, DC. They are unlikely to be returned to Germany

Archive
Unesco

“Catalogue of the National Museum of Afghanistan”: recording and illustrating key objects in the Kabul Museum

Unesco has published a record of the 1,600 objects acquired by the institution between 1931 and 1985

Archive
News

Growing evidence that Göring seized National Gallery’s Cranach from its pre-war owner

We uncover the remarkable story of how a US war reporter governed Hitler’s mountain retreat for a day and took control of Reichsmarschall Göring’s collection of stolen art

Archive
Looted art

Revealed: National Gallery’s Cranach is war loot

The painting was taken from Germany at the end of World War II