Culture crime news 27 November–11 December 2017


Hot this week: Short-sighted destruction of America’s sensitive National Parks

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Hurghada Airport thwarts smuggling of 102 artifacts (Egypt)
(9 December 2017; Egypt Today)

Cairo Airport thwarts smuggling of 28 historic coins (Egypt)
(6 December 2017; Egypt Today)

World Museum, Vienna, Re-Opens: Renovated Premises For Cultural Objects Of Others But No Solution For Restitution. (General, Austria)
(27 November 2017; Modern Ghana)

Macron Promises To Return African Artefacts In French Museums: A New Era In African-European Relationships Or A Mirage? (General, France)
(10 December 2017; Modern Ghana)

Liberia: Govt Announces the Re-Opening of National Museum (Liberia)
(28 November 2017; All Africa)


‘Tears shed’ after salmon art disappears from Saint John street (Canada)
(8 December 2017; CBC)

Public art committee calls for group to include 2 or more Indigenous people (Canada)
(10 December 2017; CBC)

El Arte Sacro en México (Mexico)
(6 December 2017; Diario Xalapa)

Hamilton County Parks fined for archaeological digs into Native American graves (USA)
(13 November 2017; IndyStar)

A Stolen NASA Space Watch Found After 30 Years (USA)
(27 November 2017; Bloomberg)

Shia LaBeouf says neo-Nazis stole his art project in Tennessee (USA)
(4 December 2017; Tennessean)

Lake George man who was accused in painting theft faces more charges (USA)
(5 December 2017; The Post Star)

LA’s Getty Center Built to Protect Its Greek, Roman Antiquities from Flames (Photos) (USA, Greece, Rome)
(7 December 2017; The National Herald)

Botero’s Sculpture Finds its Way Home (USA)
(8 December 2017; The Bogota Post)

When SF lost its mind over a stolen painting (USA)
(8 December 2017; San Francisco Chronicle)

‘RoboCop’ Director Jose Padilha Boards Art Heist Movie ‘Master Thieves’ (USA)
(8 December 2017; Variety)

Hopes for return of more indigenous Hawaiian artefacts (USA)
(10 December 2017; Radio New Zealand)

Why Experts Don’t Believe This Is a Rare First Map of America (USA)
(10 December 2017; The New York Times)

Bears Ears: Inside the fight for Utah’s contested national monuments (USA)
(4 December 2017; BBC News)

Native American Artifacts, Fossils And Stunning Utah Landscape Not Protected From Looting And Mining After Trump Withdraws Protection (USA)
(4 December 2017; Newsweek)

Tribes, host of groups, file suit against Trump’s action (USA)
(7 December 2017; Navajo Times)

Patagonia and the Federal Government Go Head to Head (USA)
(8 December 2017; Outside Online)

There’s more at stake in the Berkshire Museum case than a single museum (USA)
(4 December 2017; The Boston Globe)

Attorney General seeks more time for Berkshire Museum art sale probe (USA)
(7 December 2017; The Berkshire Eagle)

U.S. top court wary over allowing seizure of ancient Persian artifacts (USA, Iran)
(4 December 2017; Reuters)

Supreme Court hears arguments in claim against Iranian antiquities (USA, Iran)
(6 December 2017; The Art Newspaper)


State must step in to stop looting near ancient site, Kouklia leader says (Cyprus)
(5 December 2017; Cyprus Mail)

WJC President Raps Duesseldorf For Cancelled Max Stern Exhibit (Germany)
(8 December 2017; The Canadian Jewish News)

Greek Olympians Plan to Protest the Kidnapping of the Greek Marbles by Dressing as Caryatids Inside British Museum (Greece, UK)
(7 December 2017; Greek Reporter)

The University of Valladolid helps to date a painting from the Netherlands that was stolen by the Nazis (Netherlands, Spain)
(6 December 2017; Business Monkey News)

Polish painting withdrawn from London auction (Poland, Germany, UK)
(28 November 2017; Radio Poland)

Desperately seeking this Frida Kahlo painting. Last seen in Poland (Poland)
(4 December 2017; The Times of Israel)

American teen sentenced over Auschwitz vandalism (Poland)
(5 December 2017; Arutz Sheva)

Serebrennikov’s lawyer explained how art director got apartment in Germany (Russia)
(8 December 2017; Crime Russia)

Man to return ancient crown to Turkey (UK, Turkey)
(5 December 2017; BBC News)

Commemorative gold coins worth £15,000 stolen from Devon museum (UK)
(28 November 2017; Devon Live)

Recognise this man? Police want to speak to him in connection with a £15,000 theft (UK)
(6 December 2017; Devon Live)


Indigenous cultural appropriation: what not to do (Australia)
(28 November 2017; The Conversation)

Dark-Web Shoppers Are Bidding $350,000 in Bitcoin for a Stolen Painting—and It’s Likely a Fake (New Zealand)
(28 November 2017; ArtNet News)

South and East Asia

Looted Angkor jewellery returned to Cambodia (Cambodia, UK)
(7 December 2017; The Hindu)

Thriving trade in stolen Indian artefacts: DRI Report (India)
(4 December 2017; The Times of India)

Site identified for icon centre at Tiruvanaikoil (India)
(9 December 2017; The Hindu)

Smuggled fossil ‘very weird’ new species of amphibious dinosaur, say experts (Mongolia)
(6 December 2017; The Guardian)

How to Tell If a Dinosaur Is Fake (Mongolia)
(8 December 2017; The Atlantic)

Loss of heritage is loss of living culture (Nepal)
(28 November 2017; My Republica)

Imelda Marcos’ ex-secretary sentenced over stolen masterpieces (Philippines, USA)
(6 December 2017; Inquirer)

West and Central Asia

Push Underway to Keep Jewish Artifacts From Returning to Iraq (Iraq, USA)
(6 December 2017; Jewish Journal)

How Antiquities Have Been Weaponized in the Struggle to Preserve Culture (Syria, Iraq)
(7 December 2017; Hyperallergic)

Turkey refers to FBI for Zeugma mosaics (Turkey, USA)
(5 December 2017; Hurriyet Daily News)

Four Arrested in Turkey for Stealing 700-Year Old Torah Scroll (Turkey)
(28 November 2017; Sputnik)

Historical artifacts stolen from church seized in anti-smuggling op in southeast Turkey (Turkey)
(5 December 2017; Daily Sabah)

$450m Leonardo painting ‘acquired’ for Louvre Abu Dhabi (UAE, Saudi Arabia)
(8 December 2017; Financial Times)