Culture crime news 17–23 December 2018


Hot this week: Buying Dinos

Receive ‘Culture crime news’ as a weekly newsletter! Sign up here

You can search the full Culture Crime News media database at


As the Restitution Debate Rages on in Europe, Could the Solution Lie in the Art of the High-Tech Copy?
(19 December 2018; ArtNet News)

What the 7 Biggest Art Lawsuits of 2018 Mean for the Art Market
(19 December 2018; Artsy)


Egyptian Ex-Minister Calls for Return of Nefertiti’s Bust From Germany (Egypt, Germany)
(21 December 2018; Albawaba)

I.Coast calls on France to return 148 artworks (Ivory Coast, France)
(20 December 2018; RTL)

Artefacts thieves in Sabratha caught in the act (Libya)
(20 December 2018; Libya Observer)

Will the British Museum Ever Return These Stolen Artifacts? (Nigeria, UK)
(21 December 2018; History)

Photo exhibition on looted Benin artefacts opens in Edo (Nigeria)
(22 December 2018; Vanguard)


Chilean court to hear case of stolen statutes, artifacts (Chile)
(21 December 2018; Channel NewsAsia)

Easter Island Statues: International Law is Shifting Against British Museum (Chile, UK)
(18 December 2018; Intercontinental Cry)

Criminales roban arte sacro de 26 iglesias del país cada semana. Pero ni siquiera hay inventario (Criminals rob sacred art from 26 churches in the country each week, but they have not been inventoried; Mexico)
(22 December 2018; SinEmbargo)

Nazis forced SC man’s Jewish grandfather to sell art. Dutch won’t give it back, suit says (USA, Netherlands)
(18 December 2018; Raleigh News & Observer)

Acoma pueblo celebrates return of cultural items (USA)
(19 December 2018; Albuquerque Journal)

Cleveland Museum of Art hires Seth Pevnick as ‘profoundly ethical’ curator of ancient Greek and Roman art (USA)
(20 December 2018;


Sofia: Bronze Statue of Apollo Medicus at Former City Baths was Stolen (Bulgaria)
(20 December 2018; Novinite)

Repatriation of 6th century mosaics ‘important for cultural heritage’ (Cyprus, USA)
(22 December 2018; Cyprus Mail)

More than 100 Bronze Age artifacts to return to Cyprus (Cyprus, UK)
(23 December 2018; Cyprus Mail)

Parthenon Marbles Returning to Greece? UN Supports Greek Resolution (Greece, UK)
(22 December 2018; Greek Reporter)

National Museum ‘did not apply proper procedures’, court hears (Ireland)
(20 December 2018; The Irish Times)

Unique’ paintings stolen from Limerick church found `tattered’ and ‘crumbling’ (Ireland)
(21 December 2018; Limerick Leader)

Life-size bronze statue stolen from beside Yeats cemetery (Ireland)
(17 December 2019; RTE)

Italy is Unreasonable to Claim to the Getty’s “Victorious Youth” Statue (Italy, USA)
(17 December 2018; The Pappas Post)

Will a Caravaggio Nativity painting, stolen 50 years ago, finally be returned? (Italy)
(20 December 2018; Aleteia)

Restitution Of Cultural Property To Germany Out Of Question – Russian Culture Ministry (Russia, Germany)
(20 December 2018; Urdu Point)

Ivan the Terrible painting sent for auction had been looted from Nazi-occupied Ukraine (Russia, USA)
(21 December 2018; The Washington Post)

Spanish Police Recover Hundreds of Plundered Artifacts (Spain)
(20 December 2018; Hetq)

Thief steals £100,000 worth of silverware from university chapel (UK)
(17 December 2018; The Argus)

Bungling burglary trio admit stealing from Museum of Computing (UK)
(20 December 2018; Swindon Advertiser)

Police renew appeal over theft of historic 7ft sword from a remote Scottish island (UK)
(20 December 2018; Press and Journal)

University offers £10,000 reward in bid to recover stolen silverware (UK)
(21 December 2018; Brighton & hove Independent)

Painting Stolen From Nazi-Occupied Eastern Europe Recovered in DC Area (Ukraine, USA)
(21 December 2018; NBC)


DNA Could Help Bring Home Remains of Ancient Aboriginal People (Australia)
(20 December 2018; The Scientist)

South and East Asia

Bronze dragon head believed to have been looted from Old Summer Palace during Second Opium War purchased by anonymous Chinese buyer at Paris auction: reports (China, France)
(19 December 2018; Global Times)

Tomb raiders ‘spotted’ from space as satellite data reveals looting of ancient sites (China)
(20 December 2018; Fox News)

Kashmir awaits return of its prized pre-historic treasure (India)
(18 December 2018; Greater Kashmir)

Antiques stolen from Gondal’s Navlakha Palace (India)
(19 December 2018; The Times of India)

TN missing idols probe gets murkier (India)
(21 December 2018; Daily Pioneer)

Idol theft case: Kiran Rao and Ranvir Shah get anticipatory bail (India)
(22 December 2018; The News Minute)

Navlakha antique theft: Four held (India)
(23 December 2018; The Times of India)

Panchaloha Murugan idol seized, one arrested in guindy (India)
(23 December 2018; Deccan Chronicle)

Protecting our priceless cultural objects (Indonesia)
(18 December 2018; The Jakarta Post)

West and Central Asia

Jerusalem Museum to Display Looted Near East Artifacts (Israel)
(20 December 2018; Breaking Israel News)

4,310 historical artifacts returned to Turkey in last 14 years (Turkey)
(19 December 2018; Daily Sabah)

In Other News

What’s behind the Roaring Market for Dinosaur Fossils (General)
(20 December 2018; Artsy)

Sandalwood tree stolen from Kamatibaug zoo (India)
(23 December 2018; The Times of India)

When Priceless Art and Antiquities Get Destroyed, Who Should Pay? (USA)
(19 December 2018; Observer)