Culture crime news 15–21 March 2021


Hot this week: NFTs…NFTS :(

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We Don’t Know How Much Art Has Gone Missing From Museums
(16 March 2021; The New York Times)

Made You Look — a Netflix doc that should terrify art collectors
(16 March 2021; Apollo)


Egypt: Artefacts repatriated (Egypt, Germany, Canada)
(17 March 2021; Ahram Online)

Will Provenance Research Delay Restitution Of Looted African Artefacts? (General)
(14 March 2021; Modern Ghana)

Obaseki, German Govt Parley on Return of Benin Stolen Artifacts, Completion of Edo Museum (Nigeria, Germany)
(18 March 2020; The Nigerian Observer)

Johannesburg Art Heist? The burden of the artist’s proof (South Africa)
(16 March 2021; Daily Maverick)


U.S. returns archaeological artifacts to Mexico (Mexico, USA)
(17 March 2021; Yucatan Times)

A Pair of Thieves Broke Into a Houston Art Museum, Then Escaped by Boat (USA)
(17 March 2021; Texas Monthly)

Anti-Money Laundering Act’s Impact on Dealings in Art and Antiquities (USA)
(19 March 2021; JDSupra)

`The Heist,’ Documentary About Bizarre Theft of De Kooning Painting, In the Works from XTR (USA)
(19 March 2021; Variety)


France to return Nazi-looted Gustav Klimt painting to heirs of Holocaust victim (France)
(17 March 2021; ABC Australia)

Response to Boris Johnson’s comments about the Parthenon Marbles (Greece, UK)
(16 March 2021; Neos Kosmos)

Greek Police recover `exceptional’ ancient statue from a smuggler (Greece)
(20 March 2021; Greek City Times)

Emperor’s Mosaic Displayed in Italy After Stint as NYC Table (Italy, USA)
(20 March 2021; The Jewish Voice)

The footballer turned art thief who stole The Scream (Norway)
(15 March 2021; The Athletic)

Hermitage to Research History of Fabergé Objects at Center of Forgery Claims (Russia)
(17 March 2021; Artnet News)

Why Spain’s National Library covered up the theft of a Galileo original work (Spain)
(15 March 2021; El País)

The 49 historic buildings at risk across Leicestershire – including churches and windmills (UK)
(14 March 2021; Liecester Mercury)

The art dealer, the £10m Benin Bronze and the Holocaust (UK, Nigeria)
(14 March 2021; BBC News)

Artefacts feared stolen after illegal metal detecting at medieval castle (UK)
(16 March 2021; Shropshire Star)

CCTV released to help catch thieves involved one of highest value art heists the country has ever seen (UK)
(17 March 2021; ITV)

Museums in the West are full of stolen treasures — by visiting them are we perpetuating colonial-era violence? (UK)
(20 March 2021; South China Morning Post)

South and East Asia

Cambodia’s Khmer heritage is finally returning home (Cambodia, Thailand)
(19 March 2021; The Art Newspaper)

36 antique idols, artefacts returned to India by US, Australia, UK in last 5 yrs, govt says (India, USA, Australia, UK)
(17 March 2021; The Print)

In Other News

The crypto-art market is being infiltrated by fakes, thieves and scammers (General)
(15 March 2021; The Telegraph)

Reports of Stolen Art on NFT Marketplace Raise Issues for Crypto Collectors (General)
(16 March 2021; Hyperallergic)

NFT Mania is here. And so are the scammers (General)
(20 March 2021; The Verge)

Steven Staryk on violin and bow forgeries (USA)
(16 March 2021; The Strand)