Showing 2 results for the tag: Art theft.

March 23, 2012

Are artefacts really better protected by the museums in developed countries?

Posted at 8:57 am in British Museum, Similar cases

Large museums in western countries, would like people to believe that they are better custodians of artefacts than the original owners of them – protecting them for future generations to see.

The reality though, is that this perceived status quo is not necessarily the case.

If you follow the link to the original article, there is an interesting info-graphic at the start of it, which helps to summaries the issues in the article.

From:
SAFE

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Museum collections no better off in developed countries, international survey says

According to 1490 respondents from 136 countries, a survey conducted between June and September by ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) reveals that museum collections the world over suffer from “major” or “drastic” lack of space, bad management, theft, pest infestation, etc. A note at the bottom of the report says: “As a little over 25% of the replies came from North America, these results were analyzed individually and compared to the rest of the world. There was found to be no significant difference in the numbers. This confirms that the results shown here represent the situation of the museums surveyed in all countries.” “Most importantly, we have confirmation that this is not a developed vs. developing country issue: all countries find themselves in the same situation.” Mr. Gaël de Guichen, Special Advisor to the Director General of ICCROM, concludes.
Read the rest of this entry »

March 20, 2012

Three new books on art thefts

Posted at 9:08 am in Similar cases

Theft and looting, as covered by this website, tends to focus on illegal excavations & looting of archaeological sites, some of which isn’t discovered until well after the event. One must remember though, that huge amounts of art theft also take place directly from museums and private collections – and that many of these cases remain unsolved.

From:
Washington Post

Three books on art theft
By Christopher Schoppa, Published: October 7

The craft of looting precious artworks is almost as old as the medium itself, with countless cases littering the pages of history, from casualties of war (most recently, the Baghdad Museum) to brazen museum heists (Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990). There are also the thorny issues of national patrimony, art that by chance or pillage wound up as the backbone of some other country’s elite museum: The famed Elgin Marbles now housed in the British Museum are a prime example. Greece has a state-of the art (yet empty) space to house them in the Acropolis Museum, and is still waiting. But you needn’t. For more tidbits on all manner of displaced works of art, read on.

1. Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Story of Notorious Art Heists, by Anthony M. Amore and Tom Mashberg (Palgrave Macmillan, $25). As the title suggests, the authors focus on the 17th-century Dutch artist Rembrandt Van Rijin and the vast body of work he left behind, With conservative estimates placing authentic Rembrandts at over 1,000, thieves have an ample selection from which to choose. Amore is the director of security at the Gardner Museum in Boston, which lost three Rembrandts among the 13 masterpieces swiped in the dead of night. Becoming obsessed with the case (still unsolved), Amore used his investigations as a jumping off point to explore the appeal of Rembrandt’s works for thieves and the entry of organized crime into art theft. He was aided by former Boston Herald reporter Mashberg, who wrote about the case on and off for 14 years (even being whisked off to an undisclosed site purportedly to see one of the stolen Rembrandts). Together they tell a compelling story.
Read the rest of this entry »