NEWS ABOUT: art theft

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Pompeii's Latest Woe: Thieves

Now a fresco has been stolen from the ancient site

(Newser) - The problems in Pompeii keep piling up—and crumbling down. Just weeks after portions of two of its structures collapsed under heavy rainfall, the ancient city has become the victim of theft, Reuters reports. A custodian discovered that thieves had last Wednesday taken an eight-inch fragment from a fresco showing... More »

Police Find Stolen 300-Year-Old Stradivarius

Three arrested in connection with case

(Newser) - Ah, the sweet sound of justice. Police have arrested three people in connection with the armed theft of a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin, and recovered the instrument, which is valued at a hefty $5 million. Police consulted Taser International about the stun gun used in the robbery, and traced it to... More »

Art Thief Wants to Sue Museum: It Made Job Too Easy

Radu Dogaru says Dutch museum should share costs of theft due to negligence

(Newser) - We've surely all been there: You walk into a museum and think, "Wow, this place has so little security, it'd be a crime not to steal a painting!" The accused ringleader in a huge daytime heist of Picasso, Matisse, and Monet works from a Dutch museum... More »

$1M Rockwell Painting Missing

Police investigating in New York City

(Newser) - The New York Police Department is investigating after a Norman Rockwell painting was discovered missing from a Queens storage facility. The 1939 painting had just changed hands; an Alabama man bought it for $1 million during an auction in New York in May. Police say it disappeared last month from... More »

Bad News: Looks Like Suspect's Mom Did Burn Art

Paint is found in ashes of oven; works were by Picasso, Monet, others

(Newser) - It may be a case of art to ashes—and scientists are trying to get to the bottom of the mystery. A Romanian museum official said yesterday that ash from the oven of a woman whose son is charged with stealing seven multimillion-dollar paintings—including a Matisse, a Picasso and... More »

Handyman Stole 400 Picasso Works: Artist's Stepdaughter

He may have gotten another 200 from a neighbor

(Newser) - One of the most brazen art thefts in a while appears to have been ridiculously easy: Picasso's stepdaughter says a handyman stole 407 works out of a file cabinet—and the same guy allegedly stole another 200 pieces by Picasso, Kandinsky, and other artists from her neighbor, reports the... More »

Museums Unfairly Sitting on Art Nazis Stole: Experts

Claimants grapple with legal gimmicks: reports

(Newser) - Nazi looting left many Jews bereft of art they once owned, and heirs are still coming forward to collect what they say is rightfully theirs. Under a 1998 agreement, US museums in possession of the art are supposed to consider each claim on its merits. Instead, however, many institutions are... More »

Picasso, Matisse, Monet Works Stolen in Huge Heist

Several paintings lifted from Kunsthal Museum

(Newser) - Several paintings have been stolen in an overnight break-in at a Dutch museum, including a Picasso, a Matisse, and two Monets, the BBC reports. The Kunsthal Museum has no permanent collection, and is currently showing works by more than 150 famous artists as part of the Triton Foundation's 20th... More »

FBI Busts 2 Selling $3M Stolen Matisse

Masterpiece had been missing for a decade

(Newser) - A decade after it was stolen, crooks thought they had found a buyer for a $3 million Henri Matisse masterpiece. But when they delivered the goods to a Miami Beach location, they were busted by undercover FBI agents, according to officials. Matisse's 1925 "Odalisque in Red Pants" was... More »

Rare Chinese Artifacts Stolen in Museum Heist

18 items swiped in $30M Cambridge raid

(Newser) - A gang who broke into a Cambridge University museum after hours made off with some small but incredibly valuable Chinese artifacts. The 18 items stolen, most of them made of jade, were worth close to $30 million in total, the Daily Mail reports. The items, including a 16th-century carved buffalo,... More »

Thieves Swipe $3.2M Artifacts From UK Museum

Police arrested three, but yet to recover Chinese artifacts

(Newser) - Two Chinese artifacts with an estimated combined value of $3.2 million have been stolen from a British museum, authorities said yesterday. Two men and a woman from the West Midlands area have been arrested in connection with the Thursday night theft at Durham University's Oriental Museum, but the... More »

Stolen Masterpieces 'Crushed by Garbage Truck'

Paris cops reveal fruits of art heist probe

(Newser) - A Paris watchmaker says he threw out several priceless works of art before being arrested last year, the Telegraph reports. Revealing a 17-month investigation today, police say a Serb nicknamed "Spiderman" stole works by Picasso, Matisse, Braque, and others from a poorly guarded Paris museum in May 2010. An... More »

Tip Leads Police to Stolen Rembrandt

It was reportedly found in a local church

(Newser) - Authorities have recovered the Rembrandt drawing stolen Saturday from a California Ritz-Carlton, after getting a tip that it was in a local church, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Judgment, an 11-by-6 pen-and-ink artwork worth $250,000 or more, was being displayed on an easel and apparently wasn't fastened... More »

Rembrandt Lifted From LA Hotel

Drawing stolen while curator was distracted

(Newser) - A small pen-and-ink drawing by Rembrandt was stolen from a California Ritz-Carlton Saturday night in what detectives are calling a "well-thought-out and well-planned theft." The Judgment, an 11-by-6-inch drawing worth more than $250,000, was on display at the Marina del Rey hotel during an exhibit for potential... More »

Gallery of Stolen Art Found in Picasso Suspect's Home

Cops say NJ man went on art theft spree last month

(Newser) - The New Jersey man arrested for stealing a Picass o from a San Francisco gallery last month was apparently trying to add to his personal collection of stolen art, police say. Authorities raided Mark Lugo's home in Hoboken and found 11 stolen artworks—including another Picasso drawing—worth a... More »

Picasso Thief Busted

NJ wine steward nabbed for theft of $200K sketch

(Newser) - A thief who strolled out of a San Francisco gallery with a stolen Picasso has been arrested and the 1965 pencil sketch has been recovered, police say. The suspect, a man who flew in from New Jersey the day before the theft, was found staying with friends in Northern California'... More »

Thief Nabs Picasso Drawing, Hails Taxi

And still gets away with it

(Newser) - Seems like something that deserves the " dumb criminals " label, except that he got away: A thief nabbed a $200,000 Pablo Picasso pencil drawing in a San Francisco gallery yesterday, then hailed a cab and vanished. The man, who was well-dressed and wearing dark glasses, apparently grabbed the... More »

Could Whitey Bulger Solve the 'Holy Grail of Art Crime'?

If he didn't steal the paintings, he might know who did

(Newser) - Could the arrest of longtime Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger mean the end to a major unsolved art-world crime? In 1990, two men dressed as cops broke into a Boston museum and stole 13 paintings—including three Rembrandts, five Degas, and a Vermeer—worth more than $500 million. Bulger, then... More »

Thieves Offer Scrap Dealer $1M Sculpture for $65

Stolen Chillida, Picasso works recovered

(Newser) - A Spanish gang of late contenders for the "Dumbest Criminal of 2010" award offered to sell a scrap merchant an iron sculpture worth close to $1 million ... for just $65, police say. The artwork, by Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida, has been recovered, along with works by Pablo Picasso and... More »

Picasso Biographer: Lost Painting Stash Must Be Stolen

No way Picasso would part with some of these gems

(Newser) - Pablo Picasso’s biographer doesn’t buy Pierre Le Guennec’s story that the great artist just gave him 271 lost or unknown works in exchange for electrical work. The works must have been from a large collection Picasso was forced to remove from his Paris apartment when the French... More »

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