Culture crime news 18–24 May 2020


Hot this week: More Hobby Lobby/Museum of the Bible drama, this time with lawsuit

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

You can search the full Culture Crime News media database at


Relocation of Egyptian Sphinxes Exposes Them to Potential Environmental Damage, Experts Fear (Egypt)
(19 May 2020; The Weather Channel)


Morton: no todo arte sacro es de la nación (Morton: Not all sacred art is [property] of the nation; Mexico)
(19 May 2020; Milenio)

Thieves keep stealing muralist’s window panels he painted for charity in Soho (USA)
(19 May 2020; New York Post)

Salvage Firm Can Cut Into Titanic to Recover Telegraph, Judge Says (USA)
(20 May 2020; The New York Times)

A luxury car, art woth more than $150,00 stolen in Miami. (USA)
(21 May 2020; Miami Herald)

Motoko Fujishiro Huthwaite, ‘a force of nature’ who helped preserve WWII artifacts (USA, Japan)
(22 May 2020; The Oakland Press)

Civil action filed to forfeit rare cuneiform tablet from Hobby Lobby (USA, Iraq)
(18 May 2020; ICE)

Christie’s sued in looting dispute over £1.3m ancient tablet (USA, Iraq)
(22 May 2020; The Times)

Hobby Lobby Lawsuits and a Scholar’s Arrest Expose a Dark Side of Biblical Studies (USA, Iraq)
(23 May 2020; Observer)


Movie review: ‘The Painter and the Thief’ is more than just an art heist (Czech Republic)
(18 May 2020; Montevideo American-News)

How an artist developed an unlikely bond with the man who stole her paintings (Czech Republic)
(18 May 2020; CBC)

Australia takes lead in the demand for Parthenon Marbles return (Greece, UK, Australia)
(22 May 2020; Neos Kosmos)

Culture minister reiterates call for return of Parthenon Marbles (Greece, UK)
(23 May 2020; eKathimerini)

Greece calls again for return of Parthenon marbles (Greece)
(25 May 2020; AFP)

$50M in Fabergé Antiquities Shipped to Panama After Oligarch Hit With Sanctions: Reports (Russia, Panama)
(21 May 2020; The Moscow Times)

Potential ‘trophy theft’ as head cut off snake Gruffalo character in Inverness (UK)
(18 May 2020; The Inverness Courier)

Police warn of illegal metal detecting at Castle Hill, Shaftesbury (UK)
(20 May 2020; Dorset Echo)

In Other News

Australia: German student breaks into museum to take selfies with dinosaurs (Australia)
(18 May 2020; Sky News)

France should sell Mona Lisa ‘for €50bn’ to cover coronavirus losses, tech CEO suggests (France)
(19 May 2020; The Independent)

Museum Experts Weigh In On Animal Crossing New Horizons’ Museum (General)
(22 May 2020; Kotaku)

Calls for garda unit to clamp down on wildlife crimes in Ireland (Ireland)
(23 May 2020; The Times)

The Bizarre Story Of The Nicolas Cage Superman Heist (USA)
(22 May 2020; Screen Rant)