Ponder the things you'd expect a thief to steal from a museum. OK, was a rhinoceros horn on your list? Yeah, we didn't think so. The New York Times reports on a surprising new trend sweeping Europe, which has seen 30 such thefts from museums, galleries, auction houses, and more this year alone. At the Ipswich Museum last month, thieves "just snapped" the horn off of a rhino that had been on display since 1907, explains a local official. It may seem like a bizarre crime, until you consider that the powder made from grinding rhino horns—which many in Asia consider an aphrodisiac and cancer cure—sells for an estimated $45,000 a pound on the black market.
That's more than gold or heroin fetches, notes the Times, which explains that a recent crackdown on the export of rhino horns has made them all the more valuable. A London detective recommends that institutions that possess a rhino remove images of it from their websites, or follow London's Natural History Museum's lead and replace the real horn with a fake one. The director of one auction house that had a rhino horn stolen agrees: "Do not have it on display. Put a dummy up and booby-trap it."