ArtTheft

Picasso vase worth US$30K stolen from art gallery

An Owl vase made by Pablo Picasso was swiped from a Manhattan gallery, police said Tuesday. The 10-inch ceramic piece is estimated to be worth about US$30,000. Chelsea’s ACA Gallery noticed that it was gone May 10, but a police report wasn’t filed until Monday.

Ukraine says stolen Dutch art has been recovered

Four Dutch Golden Age paintings that were stolen from the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, the Netherlands, 11 years ago were recovered by the Ukrainian secret services, the Ukrainian government has said.

The four paintings, with a total value of about 250,000 euros were among 24 paintings and 70 pieces of silver taken in a nighttime burglary in 2005. The missing art first resurfaced last year in connection with an ultranationalist militia in Ukraine, which requested a €5 million “finder’s fee” for the return of the works.

The 10 most-wanted missing or stolen paintings

A long-lost work thought to be by Caravaggio has been discovered in a leaking attic in Toulouse, France, where it had sat untouched for more than 150 years after an ancestor, who as an officer of Napoleon’s army, brought it to the country. The discovery – which could be worth €120 million – is being heralded as a “momentous occasion” by experts. But while the Caravaggio is an incredible find, there are still dozens of rare and valuable paintings missing in the world. Here are the top 10 most-wanted, according to the Art Loss Register.

Mossack Fonseca's role in fight over painting stolen by Nazis

Mossack Fonseca helped a New York art gallery defend itself over a claim about a Nazi-looted artwork after the apparent original owner’s descendant launched a legal battle for its return, the Panama Papers reveal.

The case involves a £18m Modigliani painting taken from Paris when the Germans marched into the city in 1940 and the role played by Mossack Fonseca, as the family who say it is theirs fought for its return.

The artwork in question is the 1918 Seated Man With a Cane, and the story of its theft and reemergence blends the injustice of treasures taken during the second world war with the smoke and mirrors of 21st-century offshore tax havens.

The descendant claims the painting was owned by Oscar Stettiner, a Jewish gallery owner in Paris who fled weeks before the Nazis entered the city. He managed to get his wife and children to the Dordogne but had to leave his collection behind.

Stolen artefacts stashed by British art dealer are returned to Italy

Italian and Swiss police have recovered priceless archaeological artefacts stolen from Italy and stored by a notorious British antiquities dealer, Italy’s culture ministry has said.

The haul, worth €9m (£7.1m), was discovered in 2014 in a storage unit at the Geneva Freeport warehouse complex in Switzerland rented by the disgraced art dealer Robin Symes, a giant in the illegal antiquities trade with ties to Italian tomb raiders.

The Gardner Heist: who's got the art?

Sometimes, when Anthony Amore gets frustrated by his 11-year hunt for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s stolen paintings, he and the FBI agents on the case will talk each other through the ways that other museums’ stolen masterpieces have come home.

If the 13 Gardner artworks swiped in 1990 are ever returned, will it be thanks to an old crook, ready to deal at last? A family member, sorting through inherited bric-a-brac in some long-locked New England attic? Or a tip from the public, someone who sees or hears a final clue?

Japanese dealer arrested for offering stolen antiquity in New York

A second-century sculpture called Footprints of Buddha, set to be shown in New York by Japanese antiquities dealer Tatsuzo Kaku, was allegedly stolen in 1989, according to authorities. Kaku was arrested on March 14 at the Mark Hotel on East 77th Street for smuggling in the US$1.1 million relic.

Kaku runs antiquitues dealer Taiyo Ltd. in Tokyo and had agreed to ship the 440-pound Buddhapada sculpture to New York, said law enforcement sources.

Yves Bouvier pushes to have New York art consultant’s dealings revealed in US court

The New York-based art consultant Sandy Heller has disclosed he was employed by Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Russian billionaire and owner of AS Monaco football club, as an art adviser in February 2015. Heller’s position was revealed in an affidavit he submitted to a US federal court in December following a petition filed by the Swiss freeport magnate, Yves Bouvier, to have Heller questioned about his dealings with the Russian collector. Bouvier is now pushing to have further documents connected to the sale of a painting by Modigliani disclosed.

Robadas cinco obras de Francis Bacon en pleno centro de Madrid

Five paintings by Francis Bacon have been stolen from the private residence in Madrid of J. C. B., a Spanish friend of the legendary painter who inherited the artworks when Bacon died, in 1992. The five paintings have a combined worth of £23 million. According to El País, it’s the biggest contemporary art heist to have taken place in Spain in the last few decades.

The theft occurred in June 2015, when J. C. B. left his residence in the Plaza de la Encarnacion—an affluent area in the center of Madrid, near the Senate and the Royal Palace—for a few hours.

The heist has only been made public now for unspecified reasons, but an investigation has been unfolding ever since on both a national and international level, El País reports. The artworks, which are said to be of medium to small size, haven’t been found yet, but it is believed that they are still on Spanish soil.