Culture crime news 17–23 September 2018


Hot this week: Art heist films and podcasts abound!

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Crime of culture: American Animals and the history of rare book heists
(17 September 2018; The Conversation)


A relief of king Amenhotep I recovered from London (Egypt, USA)
(21 September 2018; Ahram Online)


Calgary police ask for help in $500,000 art gallery heist (Canada)
(19 September 2018; CBC)

¿Dónde están las otras piezas arqueológicas de Rapa Nui?: Al menos 20 moais fueron sacados de la isla y llevados a diferentes partes del mundo (Where are Rapa Nui’s other archaeological pieces? More than 20 moai were looted from the island and taken to different parts of the world; Ecuador)
(17 September 2018; La Tercera)

“Museo” revisits Mexico’s notorious museum robbery (Mexico)
(21 September 2018; The Economist)

Peru: Ministry Displays Recovered Stolen Cultural Pieces (Peru, Germany)
(21 September 2018; Telesur)

The Science of Uncovering Forged Paintings (USA)
(17 September 2018; Town and Country)

GlobalXplorer Selected for Blockchain Accelerator Program (USA)
(20 September 2018; Crypto Block Wire)

Remembering when the ‘Mona Lisa of the ceramics world’ was stolen from the Everson Museum (USA)
(20 September 2018;

2 charged with thefts from New Jersey submarine museum (USA)
(21 September 2018; Republican American)

How Boston can still solve the Isabella Stewart Gardner case — before it’s too late (USA)
(16 September 2018; The Boston Globe)

New Podcast Opens Up the Cold Case of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Art Heist (USA)
(17 September 2018; Mental Floss)

Robaron corona de oro de la Virgen del Valle en iglesia de La Guaira (Gold crown of the Virgen del Valle stolen from La Guaira church; Venezuela)
(18 September 2018; Noticia al Día)


Stolen church bell in north recovered (Cyprus)
(17 September 2018; Cyprus Mail)

Stolen icon of St George now back in Cyprus (Cyprus, Switzerland)
(20 September 2018; Cyprus Mail)

Red tape is stifling German auctions (Germany)
(17 September 2018; The Art Newspaper)

How One of Hitler’s Favorite Works of Art Got Stolen—Twice (Germany)
(21 September 2018; The Daily Beast)

Greek Orthodox Church Attempting to Reclaim Centuries-Old Manuscripts in U.S. Collections (Greece, USA)
(17 September 2018; The Pappas Post)

Police uncover illegal excavation for antiquities in northern Greece (Greece)
(19 September 2018; eKathimerini)

“Hay que acabar con los saqueos y expolios arqueológicos en La Palma” (We must put an end to the looting and exploitation of archaeology in La Palma; Spain)
(18 September 2018; La Palma Ahora)

Expolio y exportación ilícita de piezas arqueológicas. Un increible caso español (Spain)
(19 September 2018; Las Nueve Musas)

El patrimonio histórico de varios siglos en España, bajo la amenaza de los cazatesoros (Centuries of historical heritage in Spain under threat from treasurehunters; Spain)
(22 September 2019; La Nación)

Secrets of a master forger … fake or fortune? (UK)
(19 September 2018; The West Sussex County Times)

Thieves steal £40,000 worth of lead from North Lincolnshire church (UK)
(21 September 2018; Grimsby Telegraph)

Royal Academy asks tribal leaders to bless ‘stolen’ treasures in culturally sensitive exhibition (UK, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti)
(21 September 2018; The Telegraph)


Dark web listing of stolen Lindauer painting a scam, police say (New Zealand)
(22 September 2018; New Zealand Herald)

South and East Asia

Chinese residents flock to dig ‘ancient silver coins’ in the debris of collapsed houses after typhoon Mangkhut left (China)
(18 September 2018; The Daily Mail)

Chinese tomb raiders dug underground tunnels to steal priceless objects from 3,000-year-old Yin Xu royal site (China)
(19 September 2018; South China Morning Post)

HC laments temple priests’ apathy to theft of idols (India)
(18 September 2018; Business Standard)

Fisherman finds two stolen idols from Kanchi lake (India)
(19 September 2018; The Times of India)

Police unearth interstate idol theft racket (India)
(19 September 2018; United News of India)

Unesco estimated that India lost 50,000 artefacts till 1989 … our biggest victory has been the narrative war’ (India)
(19 September 2018; The Times of India)

India’s ancient treasures: Lost and found, but still inaccessible (India)
(20 September 2018; The Statesman)

UoP fails to find thieves who stole Gandhara relic (Pakistan)
(17 September 2018; The Express Tribune)

Late National Artist’s son says 113 paintings worth Bt300 million have gone missing (Thailand)
(19 September 2018; The Nation)

West and Central Asia

FBI director meets with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun (Lebanon, USA)
(22 September 2018; Lebanese Examiner)

Mending scars through heritage: Geologist who fought IS helps save Mosul’s antiquities (Syria)
(21 September 2018; The New Arab)

In Other News

Chinese art and antiquities spared from Trump’s tariffs (China, USA)
(18 September 2018; The Art Newspaper)

Govt Hands Over Custody Of Stolen Treasure ‘Back To Thief’: Scholar (India)
(19 September 2018; Kashmir Observer)

Scientists’ dismay as space rock from Skye sold on eBay (UK)
(17 September 2018; Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter)

Uncomfortable Art Tours’ Question Colonialist Biases in London-Area Museum (UK)
(21 September 2018; Next City)