Monday, January 17, 2005

FBI Art Theft Task Force Formed

With all the hullabaloo just since January 1 about sentencing, torture policies, and the impending corporate chieftain trials (and retrials), it is nice to read a story about a slightly more arcane area of the criminal world, specifically the theft of art.  The FBI has formed a new task force to take on the problem, as described in an AP story (Jan. 15):

A new national FBI task force on stolen art hopes to learn more about the global trade — and how to tackle it — with the help of professionals and scholars in museums, as well as art and antiques dealers. Worldwide, only 5 percent to 10 percent of artwork reported stolen is recovered, said Lynne Richardson, who manages the art theft program at FBI headquarters in Washington. The group wants to learn more about how purloined art makes its way to U.S. shores.

The article notes that the eight members of the task force "visited curators at the Impressionist-rich Barnes Museum, conservationists at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and archaeologists at the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, as well as art and antiques dealers." Tough duty. (ph)

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