Culture crime news 1–7 October 2018


Hot this week: Numerous Nazi-looted art cases

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Egyptian Police Arrest 3 for Illegal Digging for Artefacts (Egypt)
(2 October 2018; Albawaba)

Two brothers killed during illegal excavation for antiquities in Sohag (Egypt)
(6 October 2018; Egypt Independent)

Rwanda confirms Belgium willing to return archives (Rwanda, Belgium)
(30 September 2018; The New Times)

Apartheid-era tastes still influence auction prices for South African art (South Africa)
(7 October 2018; Quartz)


Stolen paintings by late Canadian artist recovered after sister spots them on Kijiji (Canada)
(1 October 2018; CBC)

Robo de arte sacro en Yucatán, un delito impune (Theft of sacred art in Yucatán, a crime committed with impunity; Mexico)
(30 September 2018; La Verdad)

Sacred art stolen from Yucatecan churches (Mexico)
(5 October 2018; The Yucatan Times)

The Possible Criminal Underworld Ties To The Gardner Museum Theft (USA)
(1 October 2018; WBUR)

Tucson police find stolen art pieces from 2013 gem show (USA)
(2 October 2018;

Public art advocates—and the artist himself—speak out against sale of Chicago library’s Kerry James Marshall mural (USA)
(3 October 2018; The Art Newspaper)

Cockrell pleads guilty to stealing Pettis County Museum artifacts (USA)
(5 October 2018; Sedalia Democrat)

Guggenheim Museum Restitutes Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Painting to Heirs of Jewish Collector (USA)
(4 October 2018; Artforum)

Litigating the Return of Nazi-Looted Art (USA)
(5 October 2018; The New York Law Journal)

Richmond museum to return Nazi-looted painting to art dealer’s heir (USA)
(5 October 2018; The Washington Post)

Monuments Men Foundation Collection Finds a New Home at The National WWII Museum in New Orleans (USA)
(7 October 2018; PR News Wire)


The Nazi Downstairs: A Jewish Woman’s Tale of Hiding in Her Home (Austria, USA)
(5 October 2018; The New York Times)

Man remanded for selling fake antiquities (Cyprus)
(6 October 2018; Cyprus Mail)

The tricky process of returning Nazi-looted art (France)
(2 October 2018; France 24)

American couple lose appeal to keep Pissarro painting looted by Nazis (France, USA)
(2 October 2018; The Telegraph)

Ancient Bible Stolen, Turns up Years Later at Museum of the Bible (Greece, USA)
(4 October 2018; CBN)

13 charged with illicit trafficking of cultural heritage artifacts in Macedonia (Macedonia)
(7 October 2018; Xinhua)

Nuevo expolio en Soria: Roban dos capiteles románicos de la ermita de Boós (New pillage in Soria: Two Romanesque capitals stolen from Boós hermitage; Spain)
(1 October 2018; ABC Spain)

Roban en la iglesia de Valdegrulla en un nuevo ataque al patrimonio de la Diócesis de Osma-Soria (Theft in the church of Veldegrulla in a new attack against the heritage of the Diocese of Osma-Soria; Spain)
(5 October 2018; 20 Minutos)

Thieves take entire roof from Grade I listed church (UK)
(5 October 2018; Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter)

Banksy auction prank leaves art world in shreds (UK)
(6 October 2018; The Guardian)


Etched in Bone – chronicling Australia’s shameful trade in Indigenous remains (Australia)
(2 October 2018; The Guardian)

Historic coat of arms taken from museum (Australia)
(4 October 2018; The Queensland Times)

Captain Cook statue to be removed from hill in New Zealand after Maori protests (New Zealand)
(2 October 2018; The Telegraph)

South and East Asia

Gandhi statue without glasses 18 years after theft (India)
(1 October 2018; Hindustan Times)

Bizman Ranvir Shah fails to appear before Idol wing CID in connection to stolen antique case (India)
(6 April 2018; Mumbai Mirror)

Possession of antiquities, artefacts: the legal position (India)
(5 October 2018; The Hindu)

Antique idols and pillars found buried in the house of Ranvir Shah’s associate V Kiran Rao (India)
(6 October 2018; Mumbai Mirror)

Art or fakes at PNCA? (Pakistan)
(2 October 2018; Daily Times)

West and Central Asia

Paintings Looted by Nazis to eh Presented in Israel for the First Time (Israel, Germany)
(4 October 2018; The Jerusalem Post)

Project aims to build database of Jordan’s archaeological objects (Jordan)
(7 October 2018; The Jordan Times)

Syrian antiquities go on display, a reminder of widespread looting during war (Syria)
(4 October 2018; PRI)

12 ‘Gypsy Girl’ mosaic pieces to return to Turkey from US (Turkey, USA)
(2 October 2018; Hurriyet Daily News)

Stolen Zeugma mosaic pieces set to return home to Turkey’s Gaziantep (Turkey, USA)
(2 October 2018; Daily Sabah)

In Other News

National Museum in Rio starts rebuilding efforts with temporary exhibitions (Brazil)
(1 October 2018; The Art Newspaper)

More than 120 giant tortoises stolen from breeding sanctuary on Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
(6 October 2018; TVNZ)

The Bizarre Tale of the ‘Dinosaur Artist’ Who Trafficked in Stolen Fossils (USA, Mongolia)
(1 October 2018; The New York Times)

A Postmortem on Trump’s Proposed Chinese Art Tariff (USA, China)
(3 October 2018; Hyperallergic)

Art Experts Confirm Guggenheim Museum A Forgery (USA)
(5 October 2018; The Onion)