Culture crime news 6–12 November 2017


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Most Antiquities Sold Online are Fake or Illegal
(3 November 2017; Smithsonian)

Why Insuring Your Art Collection Is Crucial
(8 November 2017; Hong Kong Tatler)

Inside the Underground World of Legal Art Forgery
(9 November 2017; Architectural Digest)


Egypt recovers 354 antiques seized in United Arab Emirates (Egypt, UAE)
(6 November 2017; Global Times)

464 historical artifacts seized by police in Fayoum (Egypt)
(9 November 2017; Egypt Today)

Sudan: President Gives Directives for Formation of Committee for Study of Reality of Sudan’s Archeology (Sudan)
(8 November 2017; All Africa)


Guatemala Welcomes Home Mayan Artifacts Rescued from Europe (Guatemala, Switzerland, Germany, Italy)
(9 November 2017; Telesur)

Ancient Mayan Heads Smuggled Out of Guatemala Return Home After More Than 50 Years (Guatemala, Germany, Italy, Switzerland)
(10 November 2017; Newsweek)

New York’s Calder Foundation Accused in French Court of Withholding Sculpture (USA, France)
(3 November 2017; ArtNet News)

Judge Revives Case Against the Nahmad Family Over Allegedly Looted Modigliani (USA)
(7 November 2017; ArtNet News)

History Museum volunteer sentenced for thef (USA)
(8 November 2017; WBFO)

5 Pointz Graffiti Artists Win Jury Verdict—but Judge’s Final Ruling Awaits (USA)
(8 November 2017; Artsy)

Investigating the Hobby Lobby Family: An Interview with Candida Moss and Joel S. Baden (USA)
(8 November 2017; Religion & Politics)

Reward Offered for Artifacts Stolen From Florida Museum (USA)
(10 November 2017; US News and World Report)

Stolen $160M de Kooning painting was sold to antique shop for $2K (USA)
(9 November 2017; New York Post)

Who Stole the $165M De Kooning Found Behind a Bedroom Door? (USA)
(11 November 2017; The Daily Beast)

Bipartisan Legislation To Safeguard Tribal Items Receives Key Committee Hearing (USA)
(8 November 2017; KRWG)

Acoma Pueblo still awaits return of tribal shield (USA)
(8 November 2017; Albuquerque Journal)

Stolen Norman Rockwell painting fetches more than $900K at auction (USA)
(3 November 2017; Toronto Sun)

Last-Minute Appeal Tries to Halt Berkshire Museum Art Auction (USA)
(9 November 2017; Hyperallergic)


The tricky process of returning Nazi-looted art (France, Germany, USA, Austria)
(6 November 2017; The Straits Times)

Valuable Fernando Botero bronze stolen from Parisian gallery (France)
(8 November 2017; The City Paper Bogota)

Artefact at Louvre raises doubt (France, India)
(11 November 2017; The Hindu)

Toll Brothers founder ordered to return famous painting looted during WWII (France, USA)
(7 November 2017; Philly Voice)

Looted by the Nazis: French court orders American couple to return Pissarro painting to Jewish heirs (France, USA)
(7 November 2017; The Telegraph)

Nazi art theft: How Hitler’s art dealer amassed looted paintings to save his own skin (Germany)
(8 November 2017; The Independent)

Malevich painting in Düsseldorf state collection exposed as forgery (Germany)
(10 November 2017; The Art Newspaper)

Stolen statue returned to church in huge recovery (Italy)
(4 November 2017; Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

Art Fakes Loom Over Modigliani Madness (Italy)
(11 November 2017; The Daily Beast)

Oslo looks to track down 1,600 missing works of art (Norway)
(6 November 2017; The Art Newspaper)

Two men arrested for Norway Viking museum heist (Norway)
(9 November 2017; The Local)

Irish Viking artefacts recovered by Norwegian police after theft (Norway)
(10 November 2017; The Irish Times)

Poland aims to stop auction of painting lost in WWII (Poland)
(9 November 2017; Radio Poland)

Fire at Moscow’s art museum causes no damage to collections (Russia)
(3 November 2017; 660 News)

Secrets Of A Courbet “Ghost” Landscape In Switzerland (Switzerland, Germany)
(3 November 2017; World Crunch)

Stolen Matisse Bronze Bust Returned To Swiss Museum (Switzerland)
(9 November 2017; Artlyst)

A Stolen Sculpture by Matisse Was Just Found in a Swiss Thrift Store (Switzerland)
(10 November 2017; Architectural Digest)

Duke’s Auctioneers fined over Alfred Wallis fakes (UK)
(31 October 2017; BBC News)

2,500-year-old coins discovered in a desk in Kent (UK)
(6 November 2017; Metro)

Why Art Galleries Have Become a Ripe Target for Hackers (and Other Insights) (UK)
(6 November 2017; ArtNet News)

Dark Side of the Boom: Georgina Adam on the relationship between art and money in the 21st Century (UK)
(7 November 2017; The Telegraph)

The Chinese art and antique market in Britain: challenges and opportunities (UK, China)
(9 November 2017; Global Legal Post)

Lord Mayor of London returns Nazi-looted Dutch Old Master (UK)
(6 November 2017; The Art Newspaper)

Painting looted by Nazis found on lord mayor of London’s wall (UK)
(6 November 2017; The Times)

Khanenko Museum art collection in danger because heating not turned on (Ukraine)
(3 November 2017; Kyiv Post)


Indiana Joan: Meet WA’s real life tomb raider, 95-year-old Joan Howard (Australia, Egypt)
(4 November 2017; The West Australian)

A 95-Year-Old “Real Life Tomb Raider” Isn’t a Hero, She’s a Thief (Australia, Egypt)
(7 November 2017; Inverse)

South and East Asia

The world’s biggest grave robbery: Asia’s disappearing WWII shipwrecks (General)
(3 November 2017; The Guardian)

ASI orders nationwide survey of 92 ‘missing’ monuments (India)
(11 November 2017; Sunday Guardian Live)

3 held, 23-year-old idol theft case cracked (India)
(6 November 2017; The Times of India)

Idol theft case: Masterminds arrested (India)
(7 November 2017; The Times of India)

American Student Falls to Death from Bagan Temple (Myanmar, USA)
(8 November 2017; Coconuts Yangon)

West and Central Asia

Russia and Israel sign historic deal to share digitised Gunzburg Collection (Israel, Russia)
(7 November 2017; The Art Newspaper)

Collectors tackle rise in fake Modern Middle Eastern art (Lebanon, UAE, UAE)
(1 November 2017; The Art Newspaper)

140 Saudis, 14 Americans honored for returning priceless artefacts to SCTH (Saudi Arabia, USA)
(10 November 2017; Arab News)

Centre set up in Idlib to protect Syrian heritage sites (Syria)
(7 November 2017; TRT World)

Palmyra ruins ‘stolen and destroyed’ by IS — Director of Palmyra Museum (Syria)
(9 November 2017; Al Masdar News)

Turkish lawmakers to go abroad to probe smuggled artifacts (Turkey)
(6 November 2017; Daily Sabah)

In Other News

Photographing Museum Visitors Behaving Badly (Austria)
(2 November 2017; Hyperallergic)

It’s time to talk about the ivory trade (General)
(30 October 2017; Apollo)

What next for UNESCO? (General)
(10 November 2017; Apollo)

Thieves Are Breaking Into Zoos and Stealing Rare Animals (Germany, France, the Netherlands)
(3 November 2017; National Geographic)

Museum Africa without power due to cable theft (South Africa)
(4 November 2017; Times Live)

Solving art’s mysteries online (UK)
(3 November 2017; Apollo)

York Minster to be protected with anti-terror security blocks (UK)
(6 November 2017; BBC News)