Culture crime news 9–15 July 2018


Hot this week: Modernist furniture smuggling in India

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Watch the throne: why artist Thierry Oussou faked an archaeological dig (Benin)
(9 July 2018; The Guardian)

Egypt arrests 7 for illegal archaeology and antiquities removal (Egypt)
(11 July 2018; Africa Times)

Why proposed ‘loaning’ of looted Benin artefacts to Nigeria may stop restitution plans (Nigeria)
(11 July 2018; The Guardian)


Does the Haida Now exhibit belong in the Museum of Vancouver? (Canada)
(10 July 2018; Vancouver Courier)

Iglesias implementarán video vigilancia (Churches to implement video surveillance; Mexico)
(9 July 2018; El Sol de San Juan del Rio)

After a Yearslong Battle, a US Court Concludes That Artists Aren’t Entitled to Royalties on Works Resold at Auction (USA)
(9 July 2018; ArtNet News)

DC Circuit Says Effort to Recover Art Stolen by Nazis Will Continue (USA)
(10 July 2018; Courthouse News)

300-pound sculpture stolen from former church in Chicago (USA)
(12 July 2018; UPI)

Art appraisers increase reward for stolen Picasso to $10,000 (USA)
(12 July 2018; WDJT)

The FBI Has Recovered a Crimson Robert Motherwell Painting Stolen 40 Years Ago by a Moving Man (USA)
(12 July 2018; ArtNet News)

Kendrick and SZA Ask Judge to Block Profits in “All the Stars” Lawsuit (USA, Liberia, UK)
(13 July 2018; Pitchfork)

Oops! Federal officials divulge secret info about Native American artifacts (USA)
(15 July 2018; Salon)


Prison sentences and million-euro-damages for art forgery gang (Finland)
(12 July 2018; YLE)

Stolen Bronze Age dagger returns to Slovenia after 33 years (Slovenia, UK)
(11 July 2018; STA)

Two cases highlights how Nazi looting still haunts the art world (Switzerland, Poland)
(9 July 2018; The Global Legal Post)

A Billionaire Is Suing His Art Dealer in Switzerland for Allegedly Marking Up the Prices of Art and Pocketing the Extra (Switzerland, Russia)
(9 July 2018; ArtNet News)

Thief steals Stirling oil painting before it goes on display in city museum (UK)
(11 July 2018; Daily Record)


“These ancestor remains were stolen and sold overseas” (New Zealand, USA, Germany)
(13 July 2018; Maori Television)

South and East Asia

Stolen 1,500-yr-old statue head returns to China (China)
(14 July 2018; Daily Pakistan)

Customs withholds export cache, asks UT: Is it your heritage? (India)
(10 July 2018; The Tribune)

Iron chain worth crores stolen from Arunachal’s 15th-16th century old bridge (India)
(10 July 2018; Northeast Now)

TDB to honour ‘girl’ who helped crack temple theft (India)
(10 July 2018; The New Indian Express)

Pazhavoor Idol Theft: Notorious Smuggler’s Aide Arrested Thirteen Years After Crime (India)
(11 July 2018; Swarajya Magazine)

3 metal idols stolen from city temple (India)
(12 July 2018; The Times of India)

One arrested in temple theft case (India)
(12 July 2018; The Hindu)

In India, a Missing Key to a Temple’s Treasure Vault Ignites a Furor Image (India)
(14 July 2018; The New York Times)

Stolen National Museum artefact recovered, one held (India)
(14 July 2018; The Hindu)

Heritage chairs in Delhi: FIR filed (India)
(15 July 2018; The Times of India)

Oz seeks FIRs of stolen idols cases in English (India, Australia)
(15 July 2018; The Times of India)

Frequent incidents of idol thefts irk HC no end (India)
(12 July 2018; The Hindu)

Idol theft cases will be transferred to CBI if no strong action taken: Madras High Court (India)
(12 July 2018; The New Indian Express)

Idol theft complaints get Madras HC’s goat (India)
(12 July 2018; The Hindu)

Idol theft: HC pulls up government for dragging its feet (India)
(14 July 2018; The Times of India)

West and Central Asia

‘Stolen Arab Art’: Israeli Gallery Shows Artists’ Works Against Their Will (Israel, Palestine)
(14 July 2018; Haaretz)

Syrian archaeologists begin restoring Palmyra artefacts destroyed by Isil (Syria)
(9 July 2018; The Telegraph)