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Posts Tagged ‘Art theft’

FBI and Amherst’s Mead Art Museum Reopen 40-Year-Old Art Theft Case

As “Monuments Men” mania brings interest in recovering looted art to a fever pitch, Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum has announced that it is teaming up with the FBI to reopen the case of a 40-year-old theft from the museum. Three Dutch paintings, worth an estimated $400,000, were taken on the night of Feb. 8, 1975. Since then, two works by Hendrick Cornelisz van Vliet and Pieter Lastman were recovered and returned to the museum, but the third — Jan Baptist Lambrechts’s “Interior with Figures Smoking and Drinking” (pictured in a black and white photo above) — has yet to be found.

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U.S. Agencies Return 3 Looted Sculptures to India

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At a New York ceremony on Tuesday, officials from Interpol Washington and Homeland Security Investigations returned three looted artifacts worth a total of $1.5 million to the government of India, among them a sandstone statue weighing 350 pounds that had been on Interpol’s list of the Top 10 stolen artworks since it disappeared from a temple in Rajasthan state in 2009. “I deeply appreciate the excellent work” of the U.S. agencies, India’s Consul General Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay said at the ceremony, according to the New York Times. (more…)

Judge Rules Baltimore Museum of Art Has Title to Stolen Renoir

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It was a big fight over a tiny painting. But Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of U.S. District Court in Eastern Virginia put an end to the dispute on Friday when she ruled in favor of the Baltimore Museum of Art today in a legal dispute with a collector over title to a Pierre-Auguste Renoir landscape painting “Paysage Bords de Seine” (1879, pictured). (more…)

Canadian Museum Recovers Stolen Watches

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Eight gold pocket watches that were stolen from the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, Canada, on January 3 — including the one above, which belonged to Bill Miner, a legendary train robber — have been recovered and are back at the museum. On Wednesday Brian Gerald Holt and Stacey Croft of nearby Port Alberni were arrested for the heist, which took place on a crowded, pay-what-you-wish day at the museum, whose staff only noticed the missing objects the following day, United Press International reports. (more…)

Blind Collector’s Caregiver Sold His Art

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Maureen Stuteville, a caretaker for blind 67-year-old Gilbert Jackson, is accused of stealing and selling his art to the tune of $30,000 — including a work by renowned Op artist Victor Vasarely said to be worth between $30,000-35,000 alone — and then trying to get an additional $3,000 and a car out of Jackson when he noticed the missing works. This despicable theft, which could only have happened in the state of Florida, took place in Diana Beach sometime between December 1-12, 2013, according to Fort Lauderdale’s Sun Sentinel. (more…)

Busted for Stealing a Museum’s Brains

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Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department investigators had been racking their brains trying to crack a string of robberies at the Indiana Medical History Museum after a thief repeatedly stole jars full of human brain tissue from the institution’s storage facility. A tip from an eBay buyer in California eventually led them to 21-year-old Indianapolis resident David Charles, who now stands accused of boosting brains by the bucket-load during multiple break-ins throughout 2013. The suspect was apprehended during a brain-buying sting in a Dairy Queen parking lot on December 16, the Indianapolis Star reports. (more…)

Artifacts Stolen From Former Texas Governor Price Daniel’s Home Museum

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The Jean and Price Daniel Home and Archives outside of Liberty, Texas — a home museum devoted to the former Texas governor Price Daniel, who held that office from 1957-63 — was broken into last week, resulting in the theft of priceless historical memorabilia and artifacts. According to the Houston Chronicle, museum officials are still working to determine what exactly has gone missing, but have confirmed that silverware, jewelry, a sword, a Native American headdress, and World War II items are gone. (more…)

The “Mona Lisa” Wasn’t Famous Until Someone Tried To Steal It

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Art theft really seems to boost an artwork’s street cred, or at least that’s what happened when an Italian immigrant snatched Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” off its wall in the Louvre, according to the BBC. There are  quite a few books written on the subject of “Mona Lisa”’s theft and everyone seems to agree — the iconic and enigmatic daVinci portrait, one of the most recognizable images in the world, wasn’t all that popular until it disappeared in 1911. (more…)

Turkish Museum Recovers 30 Stolen Artworks in Raids

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Thirty works of art that were stolen from the Ankara State Art and Sculpture Museum have been recovered in a raid, while officials continue to search for more, the Hurriyet Daily News reports. The museum had a rocky start, opening in April of 1980, shortly before Turkey’s coup d’état in September of that year. In the wake of political upheaval, the institution was unable to maintain inventory records or take security precautions, and a 2010 audit ordered by former culture and tourism minister Ertuğrul Günay revealed that 202 pieces were gone, 46 had been replaced with fakes, and another 27 were considered “highly suspicious.” (more…)

Baltimore Museum of Art Claims Flea Market Renoir

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The Baltimore Museum of Art has asked federal Judge Leonie M. Brinkema, in a 154-page motion, to dismiss the claims of a woman from Virginia who says she bought the small Pierre-Auguste Renoir landscape painting “Paysage Bords de Seine” (1879) from a flea market for $7, the Baltimore Sun reports. The BMA’s motion for summary judgment in the case, which began when Marcia Fuqua announced in 2012 that she had found the work three years earlier at the Harpers Ferry Flea Market but only had it appraised subsequently at her mother’s urging, includes a 1935 letter from Baltimore-based collector Saidie A. May to the BMA’s director at the time Roland McKinney announcing her intention to loan the very same work to her hometown museum. She would later bequeath her entire collection to the BMA. (more…)