Culture crime news 10–16 December 2018


Hot this week: Colonialism and return of cultural objects

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Collaboration is key to solving art-market financial crime
(11 December 2018; The Art Newspaper)

What others are saying: Who has the right to Nazi-looted art?
(14 December 2018; Herald & Review)


Egypt arrests two people accused of helping stage naked photoshoot on pyramid (Egypt)
(14 December 2018; The Guardian)

Kenya is starting to track its valuable stolen artifacts worldwide—with German help (Kenya, Germany)
(12 December 2018; Quartz)

British Museum to return Benin bronzes to Nigeria (Nigeria, UK)
(14 December 2018; CNN)

The Art Of Reparatory Justice (Nigeria, UK, Senegal, Angola, Portugal, Ethiopia)
(16 December 2018; The Gleaner)


Easter Island mayor concedes Moai statue might be better left in British Museum (Chile, UK)
(10 December 2018; Reuters)

Officers recover artifacts stolen from Michigan shipwreck dating back to 1880s (USA)
(11 December 2018; Click on Detroit)

18 groups ask Pompeo to exclude Jewish artifacts from import restriction deals (USA)
(13 December 2018; The Times of Israel)

Former city man facing charges in Utah (USA)
(14 December 2018; Lethbridge Herald)


Police Nab a Suspect in the Brazen Theft of a Renoir From a Vienna Auction House—But Others Remain at Large (Austria)
(13 December 2018; ArtNet News)

Church Leaders Sue Princeton Over ‘Stolen’ Manuscripts (Greece, USA)
(14 December 2018; The New York Times)

Garda search found stolen Bantry House painting hanging in Dublin home (Ireland)
(14 December 2018; The Southern Star)

Artemidorus papyrus is a fake – probe (Italy)
(10 December 2018; ANSA)

Why the U.S. Should Not Assist Italy in Forfeiting a Rare Bronze (Italy, USA)
(10 December 2018; The New York Times)

Dutch Art Panel’s Decision on Kandinsky Painting Creates International Uproar (Netherlands)
(9 December 2018; Blouin Artinfo)

Federal Lawsuit Seeks To Recover Art Lost During Nazi Occupation Of Netherlands (Netherlands)
(10 December 2018; Forbes)

Five Terry Bradley paintings stolen in Belfast art heist (UK)
(11 December 2018; Belfast Telegraph)

Metal-detecting trend boosts `treasure’ discoveries as numbers hit a record for second year running (UK)
(13 December 2018; Antiques Trade Gazette)

Perth art dealer wins £12,500 compensation in legal spat over stolen artwork (UK)
(14 December 2018; The Courier)

Stolen goods: Britain’s museums must hand back colonial plunder (UK)
(14 December 2018; Middle East Eye)

More powers to keep art treasures in Britain (UK)
(15 December 2018; The Times)

The arts crimes expert who is making Scotland her home (UK)
(18 December 2018; The National)

South and East Asia

After a century, a looted relic comes home (China, UK)
(13 December 2018; Inkstone)

Chinese villagers disappointed about Dutch rejection of mummy Buddha repatriation case (China, Netherlands)
(14 December 2018; Xinhua)

Antique Vishnu idol stolen from Siddheswar temple found (India)
(11 December 2018; The Times of India)

US an Oz ignore India’s request for return of stolen idols (India, Australia, USA)
(11 December 2018; The Times of India)

Special force to guard heritage sites in Telangana (India)
(13 December 2018; Telengana Today)

Statue and ornaments of Rani Sati Dadi stolen from Ghatsila temple (India)
(13 December 2018; The Avenue Mail)

Humanity’s collective heritage (Pakistan)
(16 December 2018; The News on Sunday)

West and Central Asia

Near 1800 Ancient Persian Artifacts to Return to Iran from US (Iran, USA)
(14 December 2018; Tasnim News Agency)

The Mysterious Fate of an Ancient Apollo Statue Pulled From Gaza’s Sea (Palestine)
(12 December 2018; Haaretz)

Syria Accuses International Forces of ‘Illegal’ Archaeological Digs (Syria)
(11 December 2018; AINA)

How Islamic State’s destruction of ancient Palmyra played out on Arabic-language Twitter — new study (Syria)
(12 December 2018; The Conversation)

Iconic ‘Gypsy Girl’ welcomes visitors with missing pieces retrieved decades later (Turkey, USA)
(7 December 2018; Daily Sabah)

Burial chambers unearthed in Turkey’s İznik being looted – Sözcü (Turkey)
(15 December 2018; Ahval)