Art Crimes

Officials are unsure when the damage occurred but suspect that it took place several months ago.

Vandals Deface 'Irreplaceable' Native American Rock Carvings in Georgia

The unknown criminals painted the 1,000-year-old petroglyphs in bright colors and scratched their surfaces beyond recognition

L to R: Forged works attributed to Goya, Modigliani and El Greco

A Swindler Almost Sold These Forged 'Masterpieces' for $14.7 Million

Spanish authorities halted the sale of the three works, which were falsely attributed to El Greco, Modigliani and Goya

A close-up look at one of the pieces of stolen armor

Authorities Recover Intricate Renaissance Armor Stolen From the Louvre in 1983

An appraiser's quick thinking helped recover the treasures, which vanished from the Paris museum 38 years ago

Researchers used infrared photography to take a closer look at a sentence scrawled on Edvard Munch's The Scream.

New Research

Who Scribbled This Cryptic Graffiti on 'The Scream'?

New research suggests that the painting's artist, Edvard Munch, wrote the secret message around 1895

These Cambodian cultural heritage artifacts, once held in the collection of controversial collector Douglas Latchford, will soon be returned to their home country. From left to right: Ardhanarishvara, a half-male, half-female deity from the Angkor period, 10th century; a bronze boat prow from the late 12th century; and a bronze male deity from the 11th-century Angkor period

Collection of Antiquities Dealer Accused of Looting Will Return to Cambodia

The $50 million trove represents one of the most significant repositories of Cambodian cultural heritage outside of the country

Authorities recovered a copy (right) of Salvator Mundi from a Naples man's apartment. Attributed to the school of Leonardo, the work dates to around 1508–1513.

Stolen Copy of 'Salvator Mundi' Found Stashed in Naples Cupboard

The museum that owns the 16th-century painting hadn't even realized the work—attributed to the school of Leonardo—was missing

Authorities recovered thousands of ancient artifacts, including these stone Roman statues.

Authorities in Israel Seize Thousands of Artifacts Looted From Ancient Graves

Thieves stole most of the objects—including coins and pottery—from tombs across the Mediterranean, Africa and South America

Lawmakers voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 (NDAA), which includes legislation that will change how the antiquities market in the US is regulated.

How a New Law Will Impact the U.S. Antiquities Trade

In the name of cracking down on money laundering, a new law passed by Congress will increase federal oversight of the art market and limit secrecy

North American species like the Colorado potato beetle and the fall armyworm have become invasive elsewhere.

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Authorities grew suspicious of the man after he claimed to have found 14,000 Roman coins in a Belgian orchard.

Officials Seize 27,400 Artifacts Looted by a Single French Treasure Hunter

The unidentified man accumulated a sizable collection of ancient coins, jewelry, accessories and sculptures

The Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg looted books across occupied Europe. Pictured here is a room full of stolen texts in Riga, Latvia.

New Digital Project Details 150 Belgian Libraries Looted by the Nazis

During WWII, a special ideological unit stole some 250,000 to 300,000 books for research and propaganda purposes

The online exhibition "Missing Masterpieces" highlights 12 works of art that have been stolen or gone missing over the years. Pictured here: Vincent van Gogh's The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring (1884), which was stolen from a museum in the Netherlands in March at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Virtual Travel

Virtual Museum of Lost Art Asks Visitors to Help Track Down Missing Masterpieces

A new online exhibition revisits the fate of stolen or vanished paintings by the likes of van Gogh, Monet and Cézanne

Artist's rendering of the Edo Museum of West African Art's exterior

A New Museum of West African Art Will Incorporate the Ruins of Benin City

Designed by architect David Adjaye, the museum will reunite looted artifacts currently housed in Western institutions

A police barrier tape hangs in front of Dresden's Royal Palace, which houses the Green Vault.

Authorities Arrest Three Suspects in $1 Billion Dresden Jewel Heist

Investigators linked the November 2019 burglary to an organized crime syndicate

The original sculpture (left) and the "restored" version (right)

Botched Art Restoration in Spain Renders Smiling Statue Unrecognizable

A disfigured carving in Palencia is the latest in a growing list of bungled conservation attempts by amateurs

The Sistine Hall, originally constructed as part of the Vatican Library

Vatican Library Enlists Artificial Intelligence to Protect Its Digitized Treasures

The archive employs A.I. modeled on the human immune system to guard offerings including a rare manuscript of the "Aeneid"

This month's book picks include A Demon-Haunted Land, South to Freedom and The Light Ages.

Books of the Month

The Heiress Who Stole a Vermeer, Witchcraft in Post-WWII Germany and Other New Books to Read

These five November releases may have been lost in the news cycle

Installation view of "Russian Avant-Garde at the Museum Ludwig: Original and Fake, Questions, Research, Explanations"

Why a German Museum Is Displaying Fake Paintings From Its Collections

A taboo-breaking exhibition at Cologne's Museum Ludwig spotlights misattributed Russian avant-garde works

The stolen items' owner estimates their value at around $645 million.

A Stolen Mao Zedong Scroll Was Found Cut in Half

Prior to the defacement, the nine-foot-long calligraphy work was valued at an estimated $300 million

European authorities recovered 200 rare books, including valuable first editions of works by Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton, last week.

Stolen First Editions by Galileo, Newton Discovered Beneath Floor in Romania

Authorities have recovered 200 rare books pilfered in a 2017 London heist