Art Crimes

Polykleitos was enamored of proportionate beauty and even wrote a treatise on his artistic theories. 

This Ancient Roman Statue Embodies the 'Perfect' Man. But Was It Stolen?

Italy wants a Roman replica of "Doryphoros" in the Minneapolis Institute of Art returned

The Carabinieri Police Cultural Heritage Protection Unit returned the painting to the government in a May 19 ceremony.  

Italian Art Police Recovered a Long-Lost Titian. But Is It Really the Renaissance Master's Work?

The recently confiscated painting is worth an estimated $7 million

The Parthenon sculptures are also known as the Elgin Marbles. 

Past Imperfect

Can Greece and the U.K. Finally Broker a Deal to Return the Elgin Marbles to Athens?

New talks raise old questions about the ancient Parthenon sculptures

This statue was looted from the Koh Ker temple complex in Cambodia in the 1970s.

Cambodia Asks U.K. Cultural Institutions to Return Looted Statues

British museums contain hundreds of allegedly stolen temple treasures

Excavations in Troy, circa 1890s

The Many Myths of the Man Who 'Discovered'—and Nearly Destroyed—Troy

In the 1870s, amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann inflicted irreparable damage on the site of the legendary city

Antiques dealer Laura Young purchased the bust at Goodwill for $34.99.

Cool Finds

Ancient Roman Sculpture Likely Looted During WWII Turns Up at Texas Goodwill

Experts are debating who the bust portrays, but they agree on one thing—a thrift store is an unusual spot to find a millennia-old statue

After an attack by Russian forces in late March, smoke rises from an oil depot not far from Rynok Square in Lviv in western Ukraine

The Race to Save Ukraine’s Sacred Art

The Bohorodchany Iconostasis has withstood religious persecution, revolutions and world wars. Can it survive Russia’s brutal assault?

Employees at an Oklahoma recycling center found several pieces of a stolen bronze sculpture depicting ballerina Marjorie Tallchief.

Thieves Stole, Hacked Up and Sold Sculpture That Honored Famed Native American Ballerina

The culprits sawed the life-sized bronze tribute to Marjorie Tallchief into pieces

Federal prosecutors have charged three men in connection with a large art and sports memorabilia fraud scheme. 

How Fraudsters Allegedly Fooled the Art World in 15-Year Scheme

Federal prosecutors say scammers sold fraudulent paintings and memorabilia to collectors and auction houses

Police sketches of the man and woman who stole Willem de Kooning's Woman-Ochre from the University of Arizona Museum of Art in November 1985

Why Would Two Ordinary People Steal a $160 Million Willem de Kooning Painting?

A new documentary tells the tale of a suburban New Mexico couple who allegedly stole the artwork just to hang it behind their bedroom door

Set to an asking price of $200 million, Pop artist Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is poised to become the most expensive 20th-century painting sold at auction.

Iconic Andy Warhol Portrait of Marilyn Monroe Could Sell for Record-Breaking $200 Million

One of the artist’s "Shot Marilyns," the sage blue silkscreen could become one of the most expensive 20th-century paintings ever sold at auction

This 17th-century Flemish tapestry, titled The Apotheosis of the Arts, is the largest of a six-part series that was stolen from the Church of Santo Domingo in Castrojeriz, Spain, in 1980. (Note the missing two-by-two-foot square in the lower left corner.)

Cool Finds

With a Stolen Fragment Restored, This Stunning 17th-Century Tapestry Is Made Whole

Spanish authorities had all but given up the search for the missing piece, which was lost in a heist carried out by notorious art thief "Erik the Belgian"

Italy's Arma dei Carabinieri seized 79 archaeological goods last year.

Officials Recover Thousands of Cultural Goods in Crackdown, Including Roman Gold Coins

International police and U.S. Customs and Border Protection performed checks at museums, border crossing points, airports and auction houses

The bowls were probably created in what is now Iraq between the fourth and eighth centuries C.E.

1,500-Year-Old 'Magic Bowls' Seized in Jerusalem Raid

Ancient Mesopotamians used the vessels, which were inscribed with incantations, to ward off demons, disease and other misfortune

Empty frames at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum are a tangible reminder of the 1990 theft. 

History of Now

A Tantalizing Clue Emerges in the Unsolved Gardner Museum Art Heist

Boston police officers tell local media that the 1991 murder of Jimmy Marks might be linked to modern history's biggest art heist

Earlier this month, U.S. officials agreed to return two seized cuneiform artifacts to the Iraqi consulate in Los Angeles.

U.S. Returns 4,000-Year-Old Cuneiform Tablet and Prism to Iraq

An investigator says the artifacts were "almost certainly" looted from the Middle Eastern country

French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot stands next to Gustav Klimt's oil painting Rosebushes under the Trees (1905), as she announces the return of 15 Nazi-looted artworks to Jewish families at an event at Musee d'Orsa in Paris.

France to Return 15 Works of Nazi-Looted Art to Jewish Families

The works include pieces held in the collections of the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay in Paris

In the 1970s, famous acts like Willie Nelson, the Clash, Ray Charles, the Ramones and James Brown performed at Armadillo World Headquarters music venue in Austin, Texas.

A Piece of Texas Music History Sells at Auction Amid Claims That It Was Stolen

Former employees of Armadillo World Headquarters suggested the sign was taken right before the Austin venue closed in 1980. Sotheby's countered the claims

This 14th-century religious carving of a water spirit was part of a window decoration in a Kathmandu monastery.

Rubin Museum Agrees to Return Stolen Religious Artifacts to Nepal

An investigation launched by the New York cultural institution concluded that the 14th- and 17th-century carvings were "unlawfully obtained"

Bruce Clark, author of the new book Athens: City of Wisdom, outlines the events that culminated in the Elgin Marbles’ extraction from Greece.

How the Much-Debated Elgin Marbles Ended Up in England

For two centuries, diplomat Thomas Bruce has been held up as a shameless plunderer. The real history is more complicated, argues the author of a new book

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