Art Crimes

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

The artifacts, such as this bronze jug, are decorated with Roman religious symbols that ancient Jews would have considered idolatrous.

Looted Artifacts Recovered From Car Trunk May Be Spoils of War Seized by Jewish Rebels Against Rome

Authorities in Jerusalem confiscated the stolen items, which included incense burners and coins and probably date to the Bar Kokhba revolt

Found among Steinhardt's stolen artifacts was the Larnax, a small chest that was used to store human remains. Dated to between 1200 and 1400 B.C.E., the chest originated on the island of Crete.

New York Antiquities Collector Returns 180 Stolen Artifacts Worth $70 Million

A deal made with the Manhattan district attorney bars billionaire Michael Steinhardt from purchasing ancient objects for the rest of his life

A high-necked polychrome pot, created sometime between 1100 and 1400 B.C.E., was among the more than 900 items returned to Mali.

The U.S. Returns More Than 900 Stolen Artifacts to Mali

American authorities seized the presumably looted objects, which were listed as replicas, in 2009

Art dealer Helen Fioratti and her husband, Nereo, purchased the mosaic from an aristocratic Italian family in the 1960s and used it as a coffee table in their Manhattan apartment for some 45 years.

A Mosaic From Caligula's 'Pleasure Boat' Spent 45 Years as a Coffee Table in NYC

Authorities returned the ancient artwork, now on view at a museum near Rome, to Italy following a multi-year investigation

New research suggests this portrait of an old man was painted by Rembrandt himself.

A Painting Stolen in East Germany's Biggest Art Heist May Be a Rembrandt

An exhibition at Schloss Friedenstein addresses two art history mysteries: one about the 16th-century Dutch portrait and another about the 1979 theft

Houdini exposed fake Spiritualist practices by having himself photographed with the "ghost" of Abraham Lincoln.

For Harry Houdini, Séances and Spiritualism Were Just an Illusion

The magician spent years campaigning against fraudulent psychics, even lobbying Congress to ban fortune-telling in D.C.

Researchers studying Edvard Munch's Madonna (left) discovered hidden underdrawings (right) that reveal how the artist tinkered with his composition over time.

Hidden Sketch Reveals a More Traditional Version of Edvard Munch's Sensual 'Madonna'

A chance discovery suggests the woman's provocative pose was originally somewhat subdued

Of the 1,525 artifacts included in the show, 881 were recovered from abroad.

Trove of Artifacts, Many Recovered From Abroad, Traces 4,000 Years of Mexican History

A new exhibition in Mexico City features 1,525 objects linked to the Maya, Toltec, Teotihuacán, Aztec and Mixtec cultures

The museum has a written agreement that the money must be returned when the exhibition ends on January 16, 2022. But Haaning says he has no plans to repay the cash.

Artist Takes Museum's $84,000, Returns With Blank Canvases Titled 'Take the Money and Run'

Jens Haaning says he has no plans to repay the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, which expected him to incorporate the cash into a new artwork

The National Gallery's Samson and Delilah (1609-10) is attributed to Peter Paul Rubens, but some scholars have raised doubts regarding its authenticity in recent decades.

Did Peter Paul Rubens Really Paint 'Samson and Delilah'?

A.I. analysis renews doubts over the authenticity of a star painting in the London National Gallery's collection

The cache of newly returned items includes 15 handwritten papers and a small collection of looted antiquities.

Colonial-Era Papers Stolen From Mexico's National Archive Return Home

The documents, many of which are directly linked to conquistador Hernán Cortés, were smuggled out of the country and auctioned in the U.S.

In the modern era, the European discovery of North American became a proxy for conflicts between American Protestants and Catholics, as well as northern Europeans who claimed Vikings like Leif Eriksson (left) as their ancestors and southern Europeans who touted links to Columbus (right) and the monarchs of Spain.

Viking Map of North America Identified as 20th-Century Forgery

New technical analysis dates Yale's Vinland Map to the 1920s or later, not the 1440s as previously suggested

Hobby Lobby acquired the cuneiform tablet for display at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.

Smuggled Gilgamesh Dream Tablet Returns to Iraq

Forfeited by Hobby Lobby in July, the ancient artifact will be repatriated in a ceremony held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian

Italian artist Girolamo di Tommaso da Treviso created the ceremonial shield around 1535.

Ornate Medieval Shield Looted by the Nazis Will Be Returned to the Czech Republic

Created in the 16th century, the intricately decorated piece of armor was once owned by Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Two looted gold coins recovered from a home in Bnei Brak

Israeli Investigators Seize Ancient Coins Looted From Archaeological Sites

The stolen artifacts were found in the Bnei Brak home of an individual suspected of antiquities trafficking

The thieves attempted to steal De Voorzaan en de Westerhem, an 1871 painting by Claude Monet.

Thieves Attempt to Steal a Monet From a Dutch Museum—but Drop It Mid-Escape

The would-be robbers tried to take an 1871 landscape by the French Impressionist from the Zaans Museum in Zaandam

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