This is the "Introduction" page of the "Crimes against Art: Forgery, Theft & Repatriation Issues" guide.
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Crimes against Art: Forgery, Theft & Repatriation Issues   Tags: art, crime, cultural, provenance, repatriation, theft  

Resources for research on art fakes & forgeries, art theft, art provenance, and cultural repatriation.
Last Updated: Jul 8, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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"Art and cultural property crime - which includes theft, fraud, looting, and trafficking across state and international lines -- is a looming criminal enterprise with estimated losses running as high as $6 billion annually." Quote from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Art provenance research refers to learning the history of ownership of an art work from the artist's hand to the current owner. Reconstruction of a complete history of ownership for a given work can be difficult and sometimes impossible since it may require access to archives and sales records not generally open to the public. Documented evidence of provenance for an object can help to establish that it has not been altered and is not a forgery, reproduction, stolen or looted.

Cultural repatriation refers to the return of cultural objects or works of art to their country of origin. It often refers to ancient or tribal objects. 

Holocaust-era theft & repatriation refers to the thousands of art objects were sold, robbed or confiscated during World War II. Survivors and heirs are actively working to regain ownership and art collections around the world are attempting to identify and repatriate any artwork plundered by the Nazis.


Art Crime

Cover Art
Crimes of the Art World - Thomas D. Bazley
Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, c2010. This book looks at case after case of thefts, forgeries, fakes, and illicit trafficking, as well as the political/religious victimization of art, white-collar art crime, and vandalism. It examines each type of crime in terms of frequency, losses, and characteristics of victims and criminals while the concluding chapters focus on preventive measures, art crime investigation, and security issues.

Cover Art
Art and Crime: Exploring the Dark Side of the Art World - Noah Charney
Westport: Praeger, 2009. Through the use of case examples and careful examination, this book presents the first interdisciplinary essay collection on the study of art crime, and its effect on all aspects of the art world. Contributors discuss art crime subcategoriesinclusing vandalism, iconoclasm, forgery, fraud, peace-time theft, war looting, archaeological looting, smuggling, submarine looting, and ransom

Cover Art
The Unscrupulous: Scams, Cons, Fakes, & Frauds that Poison the Fine Arts - Nick James Mileti
New York: Bordighera Press, c2009. In the early 1960s, as Prosecutor and Assistant Law Director, the author was fascinated by the cons and scams of art fraud that require a certain amount of intelligence, finesse, ingenuity, and harm.

Art & Architecture Librarian

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Susan Craig
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Phone: (785) 864-3020
Location: Art & Architecture Library



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