Marketplace  -  Trafficking

Van Gogh painting stolen, on the artist’s birthday, from museum closed due to coronavirus

Around the world, museums have been shuttered as more than 3 billion people have gone into lockdown amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Singer Laren museum, some 20 miles southwest of Amsterdam, was no exception–a fact which thieves took advantage of in the early hours of Monday, March 30th, when they stole Van Gogh’s Parsonage Garden at […]

Two men arrested for stealing stones from Notre Dame

For those following the restoration of Notre Dame, March looked to be a promising month. This was when the forecourt and crypt of the Parisian cathedral, devastated by a fire in April 2019, were set to reopen marking a first victory in the restoration. However, as COVID-19 has tightened its grip on France, restoration efforts […]

California man pleads guilty to art and tax fraud, faces up to 25 years in prison

After pleading guilty to selling millions in fake artworks, Philip Righter (43), a man living in California, could face up to 25 years in prison. Righter was charged with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and tax fraud in a Los Angeles court Tuesday but also faces similar charges in Florida. Righter, a self-proclaimed Emmy, Grammy, […]

Gulbenkian case highlights authorities’ failure to pursue art fraud

International art fraud is once again under the spotlight with the news that London Metropolitan Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Angela Gulbenkian, a former high-society art heiress who failed to show up in court to answer accusations over the fraudulent sale of a Yayoi Kusama sculpture. Hong Kong-based art consultant Mathieu […]

Why should the art world be concerned about the prevalence of export bans?

Five years after he dramatically attempted to smuggle a rare Pablo Picasso painting out of Spain, Jaime Botín— the ex-president of Spanish financial institution Bankinter—has been sentenced to three years in jail and lumbered with a €91.7 million fine. The hefty punishment marks a significant increase over Botín’s already substantial sentence of 18 months and […]

Works by Salvador Dalí stolen from Stockholm gallery

Early this morning in Stockholm, thieves stole a bronze sculpture and etchings by Salvador Dalí. The works were on display at the Couleur Gallery in the Östermalm district of the country’s capital city. The theft has been described as a smash and grab, and one that’s added to the list of artworks stolen in recent […]

The Long Game: how Wolfgang Beltracchi conned the art world

Former art forger John Myatt—who in the 1980s forged hundreds of “masterworks” and fenced them to institutions as venerable as London’s Tate Gallery—recently told reporters that in his opinion, pulling off such a scheme is “just as easy today”. Recent events would seem to prove Myatt’s point. In late 2019, Prince Charles’s charitable foundation was […]