Culture crime news 14–20 January 2019


Hot this week: Looted Libraries

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Africa: Dear the West, Why Do You Find It So Hard to Say Sorry? (General)
(17 January 2019; All Africa)

American museum closes viewing of Namibian human remains (Namibia, USA)
(14 January 2019; New Era)


Historic Effigy Stolen, Whacked on Head, Left in Snow for Weeks (Canada)
(17 January 2019; My Prince George Now)

Holy statue stolen from Indigenous church dumped in snowy gravel pit (Canada)
(18 January 2019; CBC)

¿Quién está saqueando este patrimonio único de Colombia? (Colombia)
(18 January 2019; El Tiempo)

FBI recovers rare stolen 262-year-old Dearborn artifact (USA)
(15 January 2019; Detroit Free Press)

The Met’s antiquated views of antiquities need updating (USA)
(15 January 2019; The Art Newspaper)

Trump shrank a Utah monument for coal, but few care to dig (USA)
(15 January 2019; SF Gate)

FBI joins investigation into Cherry Hill resident’s missing Nathaniel Choate sculpture (USA)
(16 January 2019; Cherry Hill Courier Post)

Forgeries of African American Art on the Rise (USA)
(17 January 2019; Los Angeles Sentinel)

Bryan Museum show revisits a famous art heist (USA)
(18 January 2019; Houston Chronicle)

Thieves flee New York’s Team Gallery by foot after stealing artwork (USA)
(18 January 2019; Art Critique)


A Painting Stolen From a Belgian Church Last Week Might Have Been by Michelangelo (Belgium)
(15 January 2019; ArtNet News)

The Famed Jewish Art Dealer Who Fought to Retrieve 400 Stolen Works from the Nazis (France)
(14 January 2019; Artsy)

German Owners of Painting Sought by Italy Say It’s Not Nazi-looted Art (Germany, Italy)
(15 January 2019; Haaretz)

The Hunt for the Nazi Loot Still Sitting on Library Shelves (Germany, USA)
(14 January 2019; The New York Times)

Librarians And Researchers Are Finally Making Strides Returning Nazi-Looted Books (Germany, USA)
(15 January 2019; Forward)

The Books Stolen by the Nazis That Made It Back to the Jewish Victims’ Heirs (Germany)
(20 January 2019; Haaretz)

Los guardianes del patrimonio religioso de iglesias y capillas (The guardians of the religious heritage of churches and chapels; Spain)
(19 January 2019; Le Voz de Galicia)

Tebra recupera el cáliz de su iglesia 35 años después del robo (Tebra recovers a chalice stolen from their church 35 years ago; Spain)
(19 January 2019; Atlántico)

Sweden charges man in royal jewels heist (Sweden)
(17 January 2019; TribLive)

Art detective urges British council to hand back Renoir masterpiece to family of Jewish original owners who were ‘forced to sell it in Nazi Germany’ (UK)
(16 January 2019; The Daily Mail)

Bracknell Town Councils’ Swinging girl sculpture stolen by thieves in Elms Park on 70th anniversary (UK)
(16 January 2019; Bracknell News)

The UK’s past means disputes over its museum contents are inevitable (UK, Egypt)
(18 January 2019; Holyrood)

Will they be returned? National Museum of Scotland to reach decision on return of Beothuk remains to Newfoundland (UK, Canada)
(20 January 2019; The Herald)


Auckland art gallery staff ‘thrilled’ after stolen $55,000 bronze gnome is returned (New Zealand)
(15 January 2019;

Thieves have a taste for public art (New Zealand)
(15 January 2019; New Zealand Herald)

South and East Asia

Why a 1,200-year-old calligraphy piece angered China (China, Taiwan, Japan)
(16 January 2019; BBC News)

Ashtadhatu idol stolen from Manikeswari temple in Odisha (India)
(18 January 2019; Odisha Sun Times)

How a history post-graduate masterminded idol thefts in Rajasthan (India)
(18 January 2019; Hindustan Times)

Police Investigate Suspected Burglary of Ancient Pagoda in Bago Region (Myanmar)
(18 January 2019; The Irrawaddy)

National Inventory Of Heritage Sites To Be Created For Conservation, Research Purposes (Pakistan)
(15 January 2019; Urdu Point)

Theft of Nalain Mubarak from Badshahi Mosque: SC orders media to run ads (Pakistan)
(16 January 2019; The News)

Millennia-old Thai antiquities returned from US Collections (Thailand, USA)
(17 January 2019; Khaosden)

West and Central Asia

Iraqi ‘treasure’ Lamia Al Gailani Werr dies in Amman (Iraq)
(19 January 2019; The National)

Iraq’s Archaeological Sites Face Looting, Urbanisation Threats (Iraq)
(19 January 2019; AINA)

In Jerusalem, a Museum’s Ethics Go Astray (Israel)
(14 January 2019; Hyperallergic)

Antiques dealer selling artefacts for 4 million, arrested (Jordan)
(16 January 2019; Roya News)

‘Jordan’s monuments threatened by population growth, theft’ (Jordan)
(16 January 2019; MENAFN)

The Race for the Next Dead Sea Scrolls, and Why We May Lose It (Palestine, Israel)
(16 January 2019; Haaretz)

Archaeologists restore ancient Palmyra artifacts (Syria)
(16 January 2019; Business World)