Art Crime 2nd Only To Drugs in UK

A BBC News report shows that organized criminal groups are targeting art in the UK, as detailed by British police.  The estimated value of art crime in the UK is some 300 million pounds, making it the second-highest-grossing criminal trade in the country, behind only the drug trade.

This report comes shortly after the ARCA Art Crime Symposium, held at the V&A Museum in London, at which spoke two former and one current head of Scotland Yard’s Arts and Antiques Unit, among other knowledgeable speakers.  The gist of the talks verified what art crime experts already know, and what this latest BBC report confirmed.  For decades art crime has been among the highest-grossing criminal trades worldwide (ranked in the past as number 3, behind the drug and arms trades), and with organized crime heavily involved in it.  This latest piece of information only confirms this.

To learn more about art crime, visit or considering studying the subject in Italy this summer, on ARCA’s Postgraduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection.

The Secret History of Art is just back from filming a documentary on art theft for the BBC in Ghent (it will run on BBC2 on December 21), and now off to Altaussee, Austria to film a documentary for National Geographic on the Monuments Men.

And this just in today, you can read my comments on the Mona Lisa theft in a recent piece for CNN.

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