Category Archives: Art Theft

New Convention to tackle cultural property crime

Posted on: May 18, 2017 by Emily Gould

Tomorrow (Friday 19th May), a new convention intended to tackle international cultural property crime will be opened for signature by the Council of Europe (the ‘CoE’, Europe’s leading human rights organisation, including 47 member states, set up to promote democracy and protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe; not to be confused with […]

Tackling threats to the historic environment from metal theft

Posted on: September 13, 2016 by Emily Gould

A fascinating and extremely productive day was had by all those attending the Heritage Crime Workshop organised by Historic England and Leicestershire Police last Friday (9th September). The topic was the theft of metal from historic sites and buildings. Delegates ranged from enforcement officers to representatives from the church, experts from heritage organisations and leading […]

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill scrutinised by Lords at Committee Stage

Posted on: July 4, 2016 by Emily Gould

It was heartening to see the strong support for the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill 2016 when it was debated at the Committee Stage in the House of Lords last week (28 June). The Lords discussed at length, and with some passion, the amendments tabled by a number of peers. The proposals for changes came […]

Report on Art Crime Workshop at QMUL

Posted on: June 22, 2016 by Emily Gould

Yesterday’s workshop on art crime at Queen Mary, University of London, which we mentioned on the blog last week, was a fascinating event, providing much food for thought. The workshop (part of an AHRC-funded series) focussed mainly on art theft, seeking to answer key questions such as: what is the prevalence of art theft internationally? […]

Good news as UK to finally adopt Hague Convention

Posted on: May 19, 2016 by Alexander Herman

At long last… It was announced in the Queen’s speech yesterday that the UK Parliament would see the introduction of a bill to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. This is a positive sign and one that had been hinted at (with little more) by […]

Conviction at last under 2003 Act

Posted on: May 11, 2016 by Alexander Herman

An important piece of legislation, brought into force around the time of the UK’s accession to the UNESCO 1970 Convention in 2002, has at last been used as the basis for a conviction. The statute, the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003, sets out an offence for dishonestly dealing in tainted cultural objects. The term ‘tainted’ for […]

New Sentencing Guidelines show their teeth

Posted on: April 20, 2016 by Emily Gould

It was heartening to read the report by Cahal Milmo in the i newspaper last week about the first application of the new Sentencing Guidelines for theft offences. The guidelines urge courts to take into account the special nature of heritage assets when sentencing offenders for theft crimes, giving official recognition to the devastating harm […]

Report on APPG Cultural Heritage meeting

Posted on: April 19, 2016 by Alexander Herman

Yesterday, IAL Senior Researcher Emily Gould and I were fortunate enough to be invited by Historic England‘s Mark Harrison to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Protection of Cultural Heritage meeting at the Palace of Westminster. This is the group launched last November, one of the priorities of which is to lobby within the UK […]

Handle with care…thoughts on science’s role in combating art crime

Posted on: March 4, 2016 by Emily Gould

Last week I was musing on the way in which the same themes seem to pervade many different areas of the shady world of art crime. Continuing along this track, I wanted to offer a few thoughts on the role technology is increasingly playing here, from revealing forgeries to assessing damage from looting. While scientific […]

Art Crime – villains and victims

Posted on: March 2, 2016 by Emily Gould

News broke this week that fourteen men have been convicted of plotting to steal artefacts from UK museums estimated to be worth up to £57 million. After a four-year police operation, the final four defendants – the ‘generals’ of the gang – were brought to justice at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday. They’ll be sentenced […]