Category Archives: Art Theft

The portrait of Greta Moll, the National Gallery and ‘quintessentially’ British statements

Posted on: January 16, 2018 by Hélène Deslauriers

Oskar and Greta Moll were two German students of Henri Matisse. In 1908, they purchased a portrait of Greta painted by the Master himself (the Portrait). Later, having survived the Second World War but concerned of the impeding partition of Germany, they decided to move to Wales in 1946. In preparation for the move, Greta […]

New York seizure of a “recovered” Persian artefact

Posted on: November 28, 2017 by Alexander Herman and Holly Woodhouse

Last month, on the 21st of October, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (along with local police) seized an ancient Achaemenid Persian bas-relief from the European Fine Art Fair at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. The item was being offered for sale by the London-based art dealer Robert Wace for roughly $1.2 million. The […]

Nazi-looted art lecture by Nicholas O’Donnell

Posted on: September 14, 2017 by Alexander Herman

Along with the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, we were happy to host US attorney Nicholas O’Donnell last night for a talk on Nazi-looted art and the ongoing attempts at reclaiming lost works from museums and private collections in the US. Nicholas was in London promoting his new book, […]

Combating heritage crime: the international perspective

Posted on: August 9, 2017 by Emily Gould

As promised in our post last week, having looked at developments in the fight against heritage crime in the UK, we’re now turning our attention to the international context. We were considering in particular a number of interesting developments across a range of disciplines: the law, military practice, technology and community engagement. As regards the […]

Combating heritage crime: recent developments in the UK and around the globe

Posted on: July 31, 2017 by Emily Gould

Rarely a day goes by, it seems, without another concerning and saddening story about cultural heritage destruction. Whether it is the devastation of ancient sites in war-ravaged states such as Syria, Libya or Yemen or the ruin of yet another village church in the UK through lead theft, the loss is felt far and wide, […]

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 […]