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Unsolved Art Thefts

  • Vicki Oliveri
Chapter

Abstract

Art theft has a low recovery rate and, consequently, many cases remain unsolved. This chapter outlines five major cases of unsolved art thefts: the Grace Cossington-Smith theft (1977); the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum robbery (1990); the theft of Frans van Mieris’ A Cavalier (self portrait) (2007); the theft and recovery of Picasso’s Weeping Woman (1986) and the Kunsthal Museum robbery (2012). Each case highlights the challenges in both securing and recovering artworks and in apprehending the thieves. Unfortunately, security flaws are typically exposed after a theft has occurred, while investigations are hampered by the absence of specialised art crime units and art loss registers. The unsolved art thefts profiled in this chapter may have disappeared from the public domain, but they are not forgotten.

Keywords

Unsolved art theft Art loss register Art crime unit 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vicki Oliveri
    • 1
  1. 1.James Cook UniversityCairnsAustralia

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