Making a dent in the trafficking of stolen art | People & Places | Smithsonian

Making a dent in the trafficking of stolen art

From their modest Manhattan digs, Constance Lowenthal and her staff do their best to foil the criminals who swipe treasures for a living

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In the shadowy world of modern thievery, the cachet in loot the next best thing to money may be art. Crooks who couldn't explain the difference between Manet and Monet have discovered painted canvas, archaeological treasures and other works of art. In hot pursuit of these art thieves is the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR), whose executive director Constance Lowenthal and staff maintain an invaluable computerized repository of data on missing artworks, ranging from masterworks to kitsch, for the purpose of helping victims and police recover purloined goods.

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