Eigenaars kasteel verdacht van verzekeringsfraude

http://persinfo.logicinmotion.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4491:eigenaars-kasteel-verdacht-van-verzekeringsfraude&catid=28:rechtbank-brussel&Itemid=43

May 31, 2011


PEUTIE
– Voor de Brusselse correctionele rechtbank is vanmorgen het proces begonnen tegen de eigenaars van een kasteel in de Vilvoordse deelgemeente Peutie. Het koppel wordt er van verdacht verschillende verzekeringsmaatschappijen te hebben opgelicht voor een bedrag van 160.000 euro, via een geënsceneerde inbraak.

Eind juni vorig jaar werd het koppel het slachtoffer van een bende inbrekers. De hele inboedel van het kasteel werd overhoop gehaald, waarna de daders op de vlucht sloegen met geld en juwelen. De politie kwam ter plaatse toen op 26 juni het bewakingssysteem van het kasteel alarm sloeg. Volgens de eigenaars van het kasteel, dat voor een deel dienst deed als museum, was er voor 160.000 euro aan geld, juwelen en kunstvoorwerpen gestolen.

Uit de data van het alarmsysteem bleek dat de dieven slechts een minuut waren binnen geweest in het kasteel, maar die tijdspanne is veel te kort om de grote buit en een ingebouwde verstevigde brandkast uit te breken. Het openbaar ministerie is er van overtuigd dat de inbraak enkele dagen voordien moet hebben plaatsgevonden, maar dat de eigenaars toen het alarm waren vergeten op te zetten. Om toch uitbetaald te worden door de verzekeringsmaatschappijen, zouden de eigenaars op 26 juni een inbraak hebben geënsceneerd, waarbij het alarmsysteem wel in werking trad.

Het koppel ontkent de tenlastelegging en vraagt de vrijspraak.

 

 

via: Eigenaars kasteel verdacht van verzekeringsfraude.

May 31st, 2011

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

Kiwis accused of stealing Cook Island treasure – National – NZ Herald News

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10728883

May 31, 2011

A group of young Kiwis have been accused of taking a treasured painting from a Rarotonga museum after they were allowed in just before closing time.

Cook Islands Library and Museum Society curator Jean Mason said she let a group of six young New Zealanders into the centre last Tuesday because they were flying home that day.

But after the group left, officials discovered one of their prized paintings was missing.

“In the brief time these visitors were in our museum, they were able to steal a painting off the wall,” Ms Mason said.

“We’ve had things stolen by young Kiwis before, but usually it’s smaller things like books. This is the first time we’ve had a painting taken from right under our noses.”

She said the group of three men and three women were allowed in for 10 minutes without charge.They left in a hurry, laughing and huddling together.

“Much as we like having tourists in our country, there is one kind we don’t enjoy having – they are usually young New Zealanders in their 20s who travel cheaply and usually as a group,” Ms Mason said.

“They take the mickey out of everything they see because some things in our country aren’t what they are used to … What really hurts us are the cheap thrills they get from abusing our good nature by stealing from us.”

She said the painting was worth around $1000, but thought the group stole it for a “sick, cheap thrill” rather than for its value.

Ms Mason said the non-profit museum, one of two on the island, did not receive Government funding and did not have the money to install electronic surveillance or “high level” security equipment.

She said that on an island where “everybody knew almost everybody”, crimes rarely happened – other than those committed by foreigners – and the organisation was now “wary of young Kiwi tourists”.

Society president Richard Wachter said: “We are so distraught about the loss of the painting, which was donated to us by a lovely Canadian lady [who used to live on the island].”

“The missing painting was part of a complete collection of travelling artists who painted local island scenes.”

By Lincoln TanEmail Lincoln

via: Kiwis accused of stealing Cook Island treasure – National – NZ Herald News.

May 31st, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

May 30th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Un an après le vol au Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris
http://www.artclair.com/site/archives/docs_article/85443/un-an-apres-le-vol-au-musee-d-art-moderne-de-la-ville-de-paris.php 


PARIS [23.05.11] – Un an après le vol au Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, la ville a alloué une enveloppe de 8 millions d’euros pour des travaux de mise en conformité des musées. Les tableaux sont toujours dans la nature. 

Dans la nuit du 19 au 20 mai 2010, un voleur s’introduisait dans le Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (MAM), en coupant simplement un cadenas et en descellant une fenêtre. Il en ressortait avec cinq toiles de maîtres sous le bras, d’une valeur estimée à plus de 100 millions d’euros. Bien que l’enquête policièren’ait pas beaucoup avancée depuis, cette effraction a permis de mettre en évidence des défaillances au niveau de la sécurité des œuvres et de la surveillance du bâtiment. Ces faiblesses ont permis de repenser la sécurité des 14 musées municipaux de Paris.

Un réaménagement d’urgence de la surveillance a été fait, en augmentant le nombre de rondes de nuit et en faisant appel à des sociétés privées de gardiennage pour le musée Carnavalet et le MAM. Six techniciens des services culturels ont aussi été embauchés pour encadrer les services de sécurité, selon Le Parisien.

Pour réaliser des travaux de mise en conformité des musées, la Ville de Paris a mis à disposition 8 millions d’euros. Ces mesures ont déjà des conséquences, puisque, selon Fabrice Hergott, directeur du MAM, les prêteurs d’œuvres sont plus rassurés. Il se dit d’ailleurs satisfait de la rapidité de la réouverture du musée après un tel incident, soit seulement trois semaines plus tard

 

 

via:

Un an après le vol au Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris – Site Artclair – 23 mai 2011.

May 29th, 2011

Posted In: museum security, Museum thefts

Police check alleged forged Russian artifacts in Czech gallery
ČTK | 27 MAY 2011
Ceske Budejovice, South Bohemia, May 26 (CTK) – Czech police are investigating a suspicion of forgeries at the ongoing exhibition of Russian avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova (1881-1962) in the Alsova South Bohemian Gallery (AJG) in Ceske Budejovice, the Artalk.cz and Denik.cz servers have reported.
http://praguemonitor.com/2011/05/27/police-check-alleged-forged-russian-artifacts-czech-gallery


Most of the displayed paintings and drawings are allegedly forgeries, the servers wrote. 

The exhibition is a very prestigious event for the gallery since Goncharova is the most famous artist it has presented so far.

Her works are being auctioned off for tens of millions of crowns in the world.

Nevertheless, the ArtInvestement.ru Russian portal pointed out that forged paintings by Russian avant-garde from the beginning of the 20th century with expert opinions issued by Anthony Parton, Denise Bazetoux and Jean Chauvelin appeared on the art market about ten years ago

The same people confirmed the genuine character of Goncharova’s works displayed in Ceske Budejovice.

There is a group of international frauds in Switzerland and France who have hired Parton and Bazetoux, Peter Aven, former minister of external economic relations of Russia, banker, art collector and billionaire told the Russian server.

Chauvelin figured in an extensive forgery case at the exhibition of Ukrainian artist Aleksandra Ekster (1882-1949) held in the Chateau Museum in Tours, France. Police seized the displayed works of art after it turned out that 180 of 192 were forgeries, the ARTnew U.S. journal reported.

The owner of 130 of them was exactly Chauvelin who has been dealing with the Russian avant-garde since the 1950s, Artalk.cz said.

Local police in Ceske Budejovice are investigating the current exhibition of Goncharova, South Bohemia police spokeswoman Lenka Holicka told the server.

The exhibition in the AJG was prepared by curator Vlastimil Tetiva. He said he trusted the expert opinions claiming that the artifacts were genuine.

According to him, the accusation is part of a competitive fight. However, he admitted that Parton had informed him about the disputes.

Gallery acting head Petr Berkovsky says he is convinced that the respective works are not forgeries.

The South Bohemian Region operating the AJG gallery refused to comment on the case.

“However, we consider the information serious enough to look into it with respect to the gallery’s credit,” Governor Jiri Zimola told Denik server.

via:

 

Police check alleged forged Russian artifacts in Czech gallery | Prague Monitor.

May 29th, 2011

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

Goddess statue: Once a Getty prize, Italys goddess statue remains a mystery – latimes.com

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-culture-exchange-20110529,0,6748034.story

May 29, 2011

Reporting from Aidone, Italy ——

In ancient times, central Sicily was the bread basket of the Western world. Fields of rolling wheat and wildflowers, groves of olive and pomegranate and citrus — even today, fertility seems to spring from the volcanic soils surrounding Mt. Etna as if by divine inspiration.

It was here on the shores of Lake Pergusa that ancient sources say Persephone, the goddess of fertility, was abducted by Hades and taken to the underworld. She was forced to return there for three months every year, the Greek explanation for the barren months of winter.When Greek colonists settled the region some 2,500 years ago, they built cult sanctuaries to Persephone and her mother, Demeter. The ruins of Morgantina, the major Greek settlement built here, brim with terra-cotta and stone icons of the two deities.

It seems a fitting new home for the J. Paul Getty Museum’s famous cult statue of a goddess, which many experts now believe represents Persephone, not Aphrodite, as she has long been known.

Since the Getty’s controversial purchase of the statue in 1988 for $18 million, painstaking investigations by police, curators, academics, journalists, attorneys and private investigators have pieced together the statue’s journey from an illicit excavation in Morgantina in the late 1970s to the Getty Museum.

The Getty returned the goddess to Italy this spring, and a new exhibition showing the statue and other repatriated antiquities from a private American collector and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was inaugurated here last week.

The goddess’ new home is a 17th century Capuchin monastery that now serves as the archaeological museum in Aidone, a hilltop village of about 6,000 residents. The cozy museum, which holds up to 150 visitors at a time, contains the most important objects discovered in the nearby ruins of Morgantina.

During its 22 years at the Getty Museum, the statue was virtually ignored by scholars, thanks largely to the aura of controversy that surrounded it. But as the scandal recedes, new, deeper mysteries about her are finally coming to the fore.

Who is the goddess? Does her slightly awkward marble head really belong atop the massive limestone body? Where precisely was she found? And what can she tell us about the ancient Greek colonists who worshipped her some 2,400 years ago?

The fact that so little is known about the marble and limestone statue — one of the few surviving sculptures from the apex of Western art — illustrates the lasting harm brought by looting and the trade in illicit antiquities. As the goddess was smuggled through the black market, she was stripped of her meaning and rendered a mute object of beauty.

The one thing scholars agree upon is her importance. The goddess’ clinging, windblown drapery is a clear reference to Phidias, the Greek master who a few decades earlier carved the figures that adorned the Parthenon in Greece — many of which now reside in the British Museum.

“It’s one of the very few examples we have from the high Classical period,” said Katerina Greco, a Sicilian archaeological official and leading expert in Greek art who wrote one of the few studies of the statue. “There is nothing like it in Italy.”

Today, central Sicily is an underdeveloped backwater of Europe. Just 17,000 visitors currently see the archaeological museum in Aidone where the statue now sits. At the Getty, about 400,000 saw her every year.

Residents here hope that the statue’s return marks the beginning of a new chapter, one focused on economic development and a deeper understanding of the goddess’ identity and significance.

“The statue didn’t exist by herself, she was made for a specific place and a particular purpose,” said Flavia Zisa, president of Mediterranean archaeology at the University of Kore in nearby Enna.

Most experts today agree the goddess most likely does not represent Aphrodite, as former Getty antiquities curator Marion True surmised when she proposed the statue for acquisition. But because some key fragments are missing from the goddess, scholars remain divided.

Greco has argued that the goddess represents Demeter, noting her matronly build and the remains of a veil covering her hair, a feature most often identified with older women in Greek times. In a forthcoming study, New York University professor Clemente Marconi will expand on his argument that the goddess is Persephone.

In an acknowledgement of the changing views of the statue’s identity, Sicilian officials have re-branded the statue as the “goddess” of Morgantina and abandoned earlier references to Venus, the Roman name for Aphrodite.

More definitive answers to the mysteries of the goddess may rest with the looters who dug her up. If the statue’s exact excavation spot were known, archaeologists could re-excavate the area and build a better understanding of her purpose.

But omerta — the Sicilian oath of silence — has long kept that key piece of information a secret. Whispers in Aidone tell of two shepherd brothers who found the statue on the eastern flank of Morgantina where a sanctuary to Demeter and Persephone has been found.

“It is time for them to speak,” said Silvio Raffiotta, a local prosecutor who investigated the statue’s looting in the 1990s. “Now there is no risk.”

The journey of the Getty’s cult goddess is told in Felch’s new book, “Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum,” co-written with Ralph Frammolino and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

jason.felch@latimes.com

May 29th, 2011

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

May 29th, 2011

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

May 29th, 2011

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

http://www.koreaherald.com/lifestyle/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20110526000619

 

The fourth and the final lot of Korea’s ancient royal books, looted by the French army in the late 19th century and kept in France, will arrive in Seoul on Friday but whether the government will register them as a national treasure remains unclear.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said the final 73 volumes of “Uigwe,” or manuscripts for royal protocols created during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), will arrive at Incheon International Airport at 8:30 a.m. and be delivered to the National Museum of Korea by 10:30 a.m.

A total of 273 royal books have been delivered in four separate flights from the National Library of France in Paris since April 14.

Under the agreement between Korea and France signed last year, France is giving the 297 books to Korea on loan, which will be automatically renewed every five years.

Because ownership is still in the hands of France, concerns were raised that Korea may not be able to designate the returned Uigwe as a national treasure.

However, Culture Ministry officials said they have not yet decided on the issue.

“The designation of a national treasure can be decided by the value of the cultural asset, not the ownership. If we talk about such a thing as soon as the royal books are returned, there could be unnecessary issues,” said Bang Sun-gyu, director cultural policy general of the Culture Ministry, at a press briefing.

“We will consider various situations and come to a conclusion later,” he said.

The agreement between Korea and France also stipulates that some Uigwe can be taken to France in 2015 and 2016 for an exhibition in France as a cultural exchange program between the two countries.

Some civic group activists raised concerns that Korea might not be able to get the Uigwe back again if France does not agree to extend the loan after the first five-year term expires in 2015.

Vice Culture Minister Mo Chul-min said the two countries will set up a committee for the cultural exchange with France and to prepare events.

“In the process of preparing events for bilateral cultural exchange, some of the Uigwe can be exhibited (in France),” Mo said.

He also said that a welcoming committee, consisting of chairman Kim Ui-jung, who is head of the Joseon Dynasty Uigwe Recovery Committee, Park Byeng-sen, a Korean librarian who first discovered the royal books at the French library, and Park Sang-kuk, director of the Korean Cultural Heritage Institute, will hold a rite in Gwanghwa Island on June 11 to announce the official return of the royal books to their home. Later on in the day, they will move to Gyeongbok Palace near Cheong Wa Dae to hold ceremonies and performances.

The National Museum of Korea plans to hold a special exhibition from July 19 to Sept. 18 showcasing some of the returned royal books to the public.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldm.com)

 

May 28th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

LEERDAM – Bij een inbraak in het museum van het Hofje van Mevrouw Van Aerden zijn in de nacht van donderdag op vrijdag 27 mei omstreeks 03.00 uur twee waardevolle schilderijen gestolen.

Het betreft “De twee lachende jongens, van wie één met een bontmuts en een bierkruik” van Frans Hals en een schilderij met de naam “Bosgezicht met bloeiende vlier” van Jacob van Ruysdael. Personeel van het museum maakte melding bij de politie nadat het alarm in het pand afging. De politie doet vandaag buurt- en sporenonderzoek en vraagt getuigen zich te melden bij de recherche in Gorinchem op telefoonnummer 0900-8844 of via Meld Misdaad Anoniem: 0800-7000. De ontvreemde schilderijen staan inmiddels onder andere gesignaleerd in een internationale databank voor gestolen kunst.

Meer informatie en afbeeldingen:

http://www.museumbeveiliging.com/2011/05/diefstal-frans-hals-en-van-ruysdael-uit-hofje-van-aerden-te-leerdam/

May 27th, 2011

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

May 27th, 2011

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

Kijk voor informatie en afbeeldingen op: http://www.museum-security.org/frans_hals_theft_leerdam_netherlands.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waardevolle kunstroof in Leerdam – politie zoekt getuigen

LEERDAM – Bij een inbraak in het museum van het Hofje van Mevrouw Van Aerden zijn in de nacht van donderdag op vrijdag 27 mei omstreeks 03.00 uur twee waardevolle schilderijen gestolen.
Het betreft “De twee lachende jongens, van wie één met een bontmuts en een bierkruik” van Frans Hals en een schilderij met de naam “Bosgezicht met bloeiende vlier” van Jacob van Ruysdael. Personeel van het museum maakte melding bij de politie nadat het alarm in het pand afging. De politie doet vandaag buurt- en sporenonderzoek en vraagt getuigen zich te melden bij de recherche in Gorinchem op telefoonnummer 0900-8844 of via Meld Misdaad Anoniem: 0800-7000. De ontvreemde schilderijen staan inmiddels onder andere gesignaleerd in een internationale databank voor gestolen kunst.

 

 

 

 

May 27th, 2011

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

The Getty Museum and its antiquities: Collateral damage

Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum. By Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 384 pages; $28 and £16.95. Buy from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

THE admirable display of Greek and Roman antiquities at the Getty Villa in Malibu was a hit when the museum reopened in 2006 after a $275m refurbishment. The curator of the show, Marion True, was not present, however, having been forcibly retired by the Getty trustees. Ms True was facing trial in Rome on charges of acquiring for the Getty classical items illegally looted from Italian graves. She is both the villain and the victim in this slickly written and well researched detective story by two journalists associated with the Los Angeles Times.

When Ms True began working at the Getty in the mid-1980s demand for classical antiquities greatly exceeded supply. It was being met principally by a few piratical European dealers running a supply chain that started in archaeological sites in Italy and Greece, where looting was endemic, and ended in the great American museums. Ms True’s finest moment was the purchase, for $18m, of a huge limestone and marble statue of Aphrodite dating from the fifth century BC. The purchase went ahead from a London dealer named Robin Symes, even though the provenance was laughable. Gossip in the trade suggested that Aphrodite had in fact been found not long before in Sicily. It seemed that Ms True had succumbed to curatorial avarice.

By coincidence, the purchase was completed on the same day that Italian bureaucrats decided it was time to stop the exodus and initiated an international investigation into the illegal traffic, to be conducted by an unforgiving prosecutor named Paolo Ferri. Mr Ferri saw a photograph of Aphrodite, and decided that it belonged back in Italy. He targeted Ms True.

She was an unlikely villain, since she was at the time making a stir in American museum circles by demanding a significant change to acquisition policies. It should be illegal, she declared, for museums to purchase classical statuary whose provenance was unclear. Furthermore, if looted work was identified in American museums it should be returned. She returned to Italy four significant pieces bought by the Getty. Senior policemen and bureaucrats in Rome were impressed, but not Mr Ferri. He decided that Ms True had a double nature—“not Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but very similar”. He put her on trial.

Ms True pleaded not guilty, but her case suffered badly from self-inflicted wounds. She coveted a house in Greece and borrowed money to buy it from an important New York collector, who had just given and sold much of his collection to the Getty. Moreover, that collection contained a number of pieces that circumstantial evidence identified as suspect. The Getty’s trustees decided the house loan was a conflict of interest and forced out Ms True while she was on trial for transactions they had known about and approved. Her former colleagues at the Getty have nothing to learn from Pontius Pilate when it comes to washing their hands.

Ms True battled on in Rome, refusing to admit any guilt. Her case was finally dropped last November, after this book was completed. The authors, if not the court, clearly consider Ms True guilty as charged. But by then Mr Ferri’s investigation had achieved its aim: Aphrodite was back in Italy, along with dozens of other looted antiquities from American museums. Mr Ferri finally confessed that Ms True had been only a means to an end. Ms True, jobless, with her reputation destroyed, now cultivates her Greek garden. She was, Mr Ferri says, “collateral damage”. The story is well told, though perhaps sadder than the authors intended.

via:

 

The Getty Museum and its antiquities: Collateral damage | The Economist.

May 22nd, 2011

Posted In: Book reviews

Le vol des toiles a accéléré la réorganisation des musées – 20/05/2011

 le 25 mai 2010. Après le vol de toiles de grands maîtres, des réaménagements avaient eu lieu dans l’urgence. Recrutement de personnels et formation sécurité, rondes de nuit renforcées... la mise en conformité devrait être achevée fin 2012.     

le 25 mai 2010. Après le vol de toiles de grands maîtres, des réaménagements avaient eu lieu dans l’urgence. Recrutement de personnels et formation sécurité, rondes de nuit renforcées… la mise en conformité devrait être achevée fin 2012. | (LP/B.H.)Zoom

C’était il y a un an. Le 20 mai 2010, au petit matin, les responsables du Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris (MAM) — le « vaisseau amiral » des 14 musées municipaux de la capitale — découvraient que l’établissement avait été victime d’un « énorme » cambriolage dans la nuit.

Un casse spectaculaire et pourtant d’une facilité déconcertante. Les voleurs n’avaient eu qu’à couper un cadenas et à desceller une fenêtre à l’arrière du Palais de Tokyo pour pénétrer dans le musée. Ils en étaient ressortis avec cinq toiles de maîtres (dont un Picasso et un Modigliani) d’une valeur totale de plus de 100 M€.

Si l’enquête policière n’a guère évolué depuis, le casse record a contraint la Ville à repenser le mode de surveillance de ses musées. L’apparente simplicité avec laquelle les malfaiteurs s’étaient emparés des tableaux avait mis en lumière de nombreuses failles dans le système de sécurité du MAM (les voleurs avaient profité de la défaillance d’une alarme anti-intrusion dont la panne avait été signalée… mais qui n’avait pas été réparée).

La mise en conformité coûtera 8 millions d’euros

« Après le vol, il y a eu des réaménagements dans l’urgence, reconnaissent les responsables du syndicat Supap, majoritaire parmi le personnel de surveillance des musées. Les rondes de nuit ont été renforcées, la mairie a fait appel à des sociétés de gardiennage privées pour le musée Carnavalet et le MAM, et six techniciens des services culturels ont été recrutés pour mieux encadrer les agents de sécurité. »

« Ce drame a conduit la mairie à mettre en place un plan général de sécurisation de ses musées », complète Christophe Girard, adjoint au maire (PS) chargé de la culture. « Une enveloppe de 8 M€ est consacrée aux travaux de mise en conformité des musées. Un plan de formation sécurité des personnels est lancé depuis le début 2011 et nous avons maintenant des outils plus efficaces pour faire remonter les informations sur les dysfonctionnements dans les musées », insiste l’élu.

Selon Fabrice Hergott, le directeur du MAM, ces mesures ont permis au musée de « rassurer les prêteurs » des œuvres. « Nous avons pu rouvrir rapidement (NDLR : trois semaines après le vol) et accueillir dans de bonnes conditions des grands événements comme l’exposition à succès Basquiat. »

A la mairie, on rappelle que la réorganisation des musées est loin d’être terminée. Elle devrait se poursuivre par la création, sans doute fin 2012, d’un établissement public administratif (EPA) qui chapeautera tous les musées municipaux et leur permettra de disposer de plus d’autonomie en matière d’investissement, de recrutement… et de politique de sécurité. « C’est sans doute la seule conséquence positive de ce casse », ironise Thierry Courdert, élu chargé de la culture à l’UMP. « Pour l’instant, les investissements de sécurité, noyés dans le budget global de la culture, sont un peu la variable d’ajustement de la mairie. Avec l’EPA, ce ne sera plus le cas. »

 

Le vol des toiles a accéléré la réorganisation des musées – 20/05/2011 – leParisien.fr.

May 22nd, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Chinese Dealers Battle for Imperial Art, Boosting London May Auctions 180%

By Scott Reyburn – document.write(dateFormat(new Date(1306018801000),”mmm d, yyyy h:MM TT Z”));May 22, 2011 1:00 AM GMT+0200Sat May 21 23:00:01 GMT 2011 Scott Reyburn

A Chinese blue and white vase was offered by the regional U.K. auction house Duke’s in an auction in Dorset. The newly discovered moonflask vase was originally described as early Ming and was estimated to sell for as much as 1 million pounds. Experts were divided over its date and it fetched 119,500 pounds. Source: Duke’s via Bloomberg
An 18th-century Qianlong dynasty Imperial white jade teapot and cover. It was offered by the Salisbury auction house Woolley & Wallis on May 18 and was described as having been acquired by a Scottish collector in the 1880s. It sold to a Hong Kong-based telephone bidder for 2.1 million pounds. Source: Woolley & Wallis via Bloomberg
A pair of Chinese famille rose `melon’ teapots and covers sold at Bonhams in London on May 12, 2011. The pair sold for 1.3 million pounds, beating an estimate of 20,000 pounds to 30,000 pounds. Source: Bonhams via Bloomberg.

May 22nd, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

May 22nd, 2011

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers

Dispute leads Russia to nix art loans

A decades-long dispute between Russia and an Orthodox Jewish group over ownership of holy texts collected for centuries by influential rabbis and seized by the Soviet Union has jolted the US art world, threatening an end to major cultural loans between the two countries.Russia has already frozen art loans to major American institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, fearing that its cultural property could be seized after the Brooklyn, New York-based Chabad-Lubavitch movement won a lawsuit in US District Court in 2010 compelling the return of its texts. 

 

Milestone
Database of looted Nazi art launched / Associated Press
Online portal activated by US National Archives provides access to digitized records of plundered items with cultural significance
Full story

The Met – and possibly other major lending institutions – are weighing whether to discontinue loans of cultural property to Russia.

The issue has become so important to relations between the US and Russia that the Justice Department has signaled for the first time in court papers that by Monday, it may weigh in on the legal case – which the Russians pulled out of in 2009, citing sovereign immunity.

Federal attorneys declined to comment for this story, and Russia’s Culture Ministry did not respond to numerous calls, emails and faxes from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The US State Department has worked to support Chabad’s campaign to reclaim its sacred texts since the 1990s.

Chabad is a worldwide Orthodox Hasidic Jewish movement, and has spent decades trying to reclaim the trove of thousands of religious books, manuscripts and handwritten documents, known as the Schneerson Collection, held in Russian repositories. Collected since 1772 by the leaders of the movement, the revered religious papers include Chabad’s core teachings and traditions.

Russian officials have argued that Chabad has no ownership rights over the collection and that the case belongs in Russian courts because it considers the works part of the country’s cultural heritage.

Chabad won the right to reclaim the sacred texts from a Soviet court in 1991, but after the collapse of the USSR, the new Russian authorities threw out the judgment.

Cultural objects lent from foreign countries are protected from legal claims under US law, as long as they are deemed to be “in the national interest” and “of cultural significance” by the State Department – which is the case in major exhibitions.

Nevertheless, some Russian officials are convinced that seizure of that country’s cultural property is a preordained outcome of the court’s decision.

“We know what is done in such cases: the state property – planes, ships, paintings – is arrested,” said Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky, the director of Russia’s State Hermitage Museum, in a recent interview with Russian newspaper the Saint-Petersburg Vedomosty. “Consequently, the Russian government won’t issue permits for exhibitions in the US.”

But Seth Gerber of Bingham McCutchen, an attorney for Chabad, said the group had no plans to ask the court to seize Russian cultural property.

“Chabad will not seek to enforce its judgment by attaching or executing against any art or object of cultural significance which is immune from seizure under federal law and loaned by the Russian Federation to American museums,” he said in an e-mail to the AP.

Chabad filed a statement and letter to State Department officials with the court Friday, assuring the US government of its intentions.

The Russian culture minister announced the ban in January.

Since then, key works from Russia that had been destined for exhibitions at The Met, the National Gallery and J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, have been held back.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science postponed its show of 150 jeweled objects amassed by Russian royalty, an exhibition that was originally scheduled to open May 20. “We do know that the show will open at some point,” said Latha Thomas, a spokeswoman for the museum.

An exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, “Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts,” is scheduled to open on June 15, with or without the Russian objects that were to be included in the show of 250 works, a museum spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts, was forced to shutter its only major show of the year after the Russian government in March called back 37 lent objects.

“It’s all such a nightmare,” said Kent Russell, the curator of the museum, which had already spent about $300,000 promoting the show when it had to be closed. “We had a lot riding on this. We had a lot of tours that had to be canceled. The catalog is of absolutely no value to us whatsoever.”

The Met recently said it was negotiating an agreement to show its exhibit of clothing designer Paul Poiret at the Kremlin Museum in Moscow this fall. “But if the embargo continues the museum may reconsider,” said Met spokeswoman Elyse Topalian.

Legal experts and art professionals find it implausible that Russian cultural property lent to US institutions could be seized.

Howard Spiegler, an attorney with the International Art Law Group at Herrick, Feinstein, a New York-based firm, said exhibitions that are imported from abroad, as long as they are certified by the US State Department, are protected from seizure.

“What bothers me about this is that Russia is disingenuously trying to place blame on the plaintiffs in the Chabad case for Russia’s alleged inability to loan artworks for the good of the American public,” Spiegler said.The Schneerson Collection is comprised of two distinct sets: the “Library,” which was seized by Russia’s Bolshevik government during the October Revolution of 1917; and the “Archive,” which scholars say was “twice plundered” because it was looted by the Nazis in 1939 and then taken by the Red Army to the Soviet Union in 1945 as “trophy” documents.

Gerber, the movement’s lawyer, said the Russian government has repatriated Nazi-looted property taken by the Soviet military to a number of countries, including France, Belgium and the Netherlands, but has stubbornly refused to return the collection.

 

Dispute leads Russia to nix art loans – Israel Culture, Ynetnews.

May 22nd, 2011

Posted In: WWII

NOS Nieuws – Spotprent seksueel misbruik gestolen uit museum

»Kruisverkrachting 

Peter van Straaten

Uit het Limburgs Musuem in Venlo is een spotprent van Peter van Straaten gestolen. Het is de tekening waarmee Van Straaten in januari de Inktspotprijs 2010 won. In het museum is op dit moment een tenstoontelling over spotprenten.

Op de spotprent, getiteld Kruisverkrachting, is een biddend kind te zien met het kruis van Jezus in zijn achterste. In de lijst zat nog een andere tekening van Van Straaten over seksueel misbruik in de kerk.

De dader liep donderdag doelbewust naar de prent, nam de lijst onder de arm en wandelde ermee naar buiten, zegt de directeur van het museum. Hij vermoedt dat de dader een gelovige is die de kritiek van Van Straaten niet kan verkroppen. “Uit die hoek hadden we al eerder signalen.”

De diefstal is vastgelegd door een camera in het museum. Er is inmiddels aangifte gedaan en de beelden zijn aan de politie gegeven.

De tekening stond in maart vorig jaar in Vrij Nederland. De jury noemde de tekening “letterlijk en figuurlijk treffend, pijnlijk komisch en wrang”. “Hij brengt traan en lach tegelijkertijd teweeg.”

 

NOS Nieuws – Spotprent seksueel misbruik gestolen uit museum.

May 22nd, 2011

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

Sculptures in a Suitcase: The Fake Count who Flogged Giacometti Forgeries – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News

By Sven Röbel and Michael Sontheimer

full text plus images:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,763170,00.html


 

Photos

DPA

A self-proclaimed count and his accomplices spent years selling fake sculptures which they spuriously claimed had been made by famous artist Alberto Giacometti. Now the phony count faces prison time — but the factory which made the forgeries has never been found.

Lothar Senke, the Count of Waldstein, carried two cardboard boxes into a conference room at the Hotel Steigenberger at the Frankfurt Airport. Inside were five bronze sculptures — originals by Alberto Giacometti, according to notarized documents.

In exchange, the count received a black leather briefcase containing €338,000 ($478,000) in cash from the buyer and began to count the money. He planned to take the payment, the first installment in a multimillion-euro deal, to a business partner waiting in the parking lot. But Senke didn’t get far — in fact, he only made it as far as the hotel lobby before the handcuffs clicked shut, a police officer recalls. A mobile special response unit of the German police had struck.

The operation, which took place on August 11, 2009, marked the end of a large-scale deception. The count was not a count; the buyer was no art lover, but rather an undercover officer with Germany’s criminal investigation department; and the Giacometti sculptures were not actually made by Giacometti. Police arrested not only Senke, but also his partner Herbert Schulte — an art dealer in Mainz — as well as Schulte’s wife and another accomplice.

World’s Most Expensive Sculptor

The same day, police detectives in Mainz searched a 200-square-meter (2,150-square-foot) storeroom rented by Schulte, where they found rows of thin statues in Giacometti’s iconic style. Some of the figures were just 10 centimeters (four inches) high, others larger than life, and most were bronze. The agents discovered a total of 1,000 sculptures — more than the master created over the course of his entire life (1901 to 1966).

Giacometti, who lived in Paris and counted Picasso and Matisse among his friends, along with authors Jean-Paul Sartre and Samuel Beckett, has become the world’s most expensive sculptor. The widow of a Lebanese banker purchased Giacometti’s work “L’Homme qui marche I” at a London auction last year for the equivalent of €74 million.

There is hardly a more lucrative field for art fraudsters. The “Count of Waldstein,” Schulte the art dealer and their accomplices seemingly focused on Giacometti for seven years, raking in over €8 million, police detectives specializing in art crimes later determined.

It has now been revealed that the band of forgers sold more than 200 fake sculptures, making it the largest scam, volume-wise, ever carried out on the German art market.

Believing his own Myth

A district court in Stuttgart is expected to hand down its sentence on Senke next week, marking the conclusion of a major criminal case. Schulte, his wife and two other art dealers in Wiesbaden, near Mainz, have already been convicted of continued fraud by a criminal organization. Schulte received a prison sentence of seven years and four months, while his accomplices were sentenced to two years on probation. But Senke, 61, still denies everything, insisting the sculptures are in fact originals. The man with the ponytail seems to have come to believe the myth he himself created.

“The Count, as everyone called him, drove up in a Rolls-Royce,” recalls a lawyer in the northeastern German city of Schwerin. Senke formerly worked as a locomotive stoker for the state railway in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), until he was jailed for political offenses. Officials in West Germany then bought him out of jail in the mid-1970s.

Contact with Schulte, the art dealer in Mainz, provoked a major change in Senke’s life. Schulte had already come to the attention of police detectives in Stuttgart years before. A comparatively small case of Giacometti forgery landed him in court in November 2008, after he and a used car dealer from Greece tried to sell 13 forged Giacometti sculptures.

via: Sculptures in a Suitcase: The Fake Count who Flogged Giacometti Forgeries – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International.

May 20th, 2011

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

Joods museum beklad met nazisymbolen

(Novum) – Onbekenden hebben afgelopen weekend museum Het Joodse Schooltje in het Groningse Leek beklad met een hakenkruis en de term C18, de naam van een neonazi-organisatie. De politie bevestigt berichtgeving daarover in het Dagblad van het Noorden.

De extreemrechtse C18 is onderdeel van het internationale Blood & Honour-netwerk. De C staat voor Combat en de cijfers 1 en 8 verwijzen naar de letters A en H, die op hun beurt weer verwijzen naar de naam Adolf Hitler.

De deur van het museum moet volgens de politie tussen vrijdagavond en zaterdagochtend zijn beklad. De politie heeft geen idee wie de dader is.

 

Onlangs hervatte de Progressief Joodse Gemeente Noord-Nederland na zeventig jaar het lesgeven aan Joodse kinderen in de school. Dit gebeurt eens in de maand. De bekladdingen hebben voor veel onrust onder de docenten gezorgd. De politie houdt een extra oogje in het zeil.

meer via Nieuws.nl – Joods museum beklad met nazisymbolen.

May 19th, 2011

Posted In: Uncategorized

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

May 19th, 2011

Posted In: Uncategorized

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

May 19th, 2011

Posted In: Uncategorized

Preservation New Jersey unveils list of state’s most endangered historic sites | State | NewJerseyNewsroom.com –

BY TOM HESTER SR.
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

The Petty’s Run archeology site on the Statehouse grounds, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in Millstone Borough, an historic landscape in Hopewell Township, a Newark mansion, and the remnants of a 19th century African-American town in Salem County are among this year’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Places as chosen by the Trenton-based non-profit Preservation New Jersey.

The 108-year-old Muhlenberg Hospital complex in Plainfield, the Penns Grove Middle School in Salem County, and the Waldwick Railroad Station, the Gilded Age Atwood-Blauvelt Mansion, and the 18th century Zabriskie Tenant House in Paramus, all in Bergen County, complete the lost.

The annual list — this is the 17th year it has been issued — attempts to spotlights what Preservation New Jersey sees as irreplaceable historic, architectural, cultural and archeological resources that are in imminent danger of being lost. This year’s selection was announced Wednesday morning on the Statehouse steps in Trenton.

The selection of the sites is based on three criteria:

The site’s significance in history or architecture, the urgency of the threat to the place, and the likelihood that listing it as endangered will result in solutions and preservation.

Stephanie L. Cherry-Farmer, Preservation New Jersey’s senior program director, said the list acknowledges the sites’ importance to the heritage of New Jersey and draws attention to the predicaments that endanger their survival and those of historic resources statewide. The list is generated from nominations by the public.

“Several challenges face properties included on this year’s endangered sites list, including neglect and deferred maintenance, weak or non-existent local preservation ordinances, and misinformation or lack of consciousness,” Cherry-Farmer said. “On this year’s list, the effects of an extraordinarily challenging economy remain particularly evident: a dearth of funds, a lack of viable rehabilitation plans, and taxed municipal and state budgets are just a few of the difficult issues with which not only those sites on this year’s list, but historic properties throughout New Jersey, are currently grappling.”

Cherry-Farmer said that in a period of high unemployment, millions of potential private investment dollars that could be saving historic buildings and creating skilled jobs are going instead to surrounding states that have what New Jersey, even after bi-partisan legislature approval this past winter, does not: a state historic rehabilitation tax incentive. Gov. Chris Christie has not acted on the tax incentive.

“Historic preservation goes ‘hand in hand‘ with overarching forces that affect all New Jerseyans daily,” Cherry-Farmer said. “We all have a stake in the survival of our common heritage.”

The preservationist added, “As we acknowledge each year, selections to the 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list are based on the likelihood that historic buildings and places can be brought back to useful and productive life.”

Here are the sites Preservation New Jersey see as endangered:

Click on the thumbnails for larger images

Atwood-Blauvelt Mansion, 699 Kinderkamack Rd., Oradell, Bergen County — A 19th century mansion, currently in foreclosure and threatened by proposed development.

Bachman Wilson House, 1423 Millstone River Rd., Millstone, Somerset County — A 1954 Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece threatened by flooding and potential relocation.

Jacob’s Creek Crossing Rural Historic Landscape in the vicinity of the intersection of Bear Tavern Rd. and Jacob’s Creek Rd., Hopewell, Mercer County — A rural historic landscape with 18th and 19th century significance, threatened by a proposed road realignment project.

Krueger-Scott Mansion, 601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Newark — A Victorian-era mansion threatened by neglect and a taxed municipal budget.

Marshalltown, Marshalltown Road and Roosevelt Avenue, Mannington, Salem County — Extant remnants of a thriving 19th century free African-American community threatened by abandonment, neglect, and reclamation.

Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center’s Tracy & Swartwout Buildings, intersection of Park Avenue and Randolph Road, Plainfield, Union County — A 1903 medical complex designed by Tracey and Swartwout, threatened by potential development.

Penns Grove High School (currently Penns Grove Middle School), 351 East Maple Ave., Penns Grove, Salem County — A 1935 Public Works Administration school threatened with demolition and replacement.

Petty’s Run Archaeological Site, Statehouse grounds, West State Street, Trenton — The only known Colonial-era steel furnace whose archaeological remains have been excavated, threatened with reburial by Christie administration.

Waldwick Railroad Station, intersection of Hewson Avenue and West Prospect Street, Waldwick, Bergen County — A circa 1886 railroad depot threatened by inadequate funding.

Zabriskie Tenant House, 273 Dunkerhook Rd., Paramus, Bergen County — An 18th century stone house and former African-American tenant house threatened with demolition.

“In a year marked by continuously dire economic news, we are once again struck by the realization that every endangered historic place serves as a challenge to all of us who cherish our history and our quality of life,” Cherry-Farmer said. “A deteriorating mansion in Newark and threatened historic hospital buildings in Plainfield represent forces that threaten everyone’s cultural heritage and serve as a powerful reminder that difficult financial times imperil landmarks statewide.

“In Penns Grove, public policy is currently presenting opportunities to save a cherished municipal landmark, while in Trenton, Paramus, and Waldwick, bureaucracy and misinformation may destroy similarly significant resources.

“Just as the entire environmental community rallies when the quality of a waterway is diminished or a bird habitat threatened, preservationists must stop seeing our battles as merely local problems,” Cherry-Farmer said. “We must unite our advocates and strengthen our voice statewide by drawing attention to all of our threatened historic places, the shared causes of those threats, and most importantly, the common solutions that we know can help save them.”

Cherry-Farmer said concern for the sites does not end when the list is announced.

“Historic preservation voices across New Jersey must support the advocates for these sites,” she said. “We must help to find solutions, and to herald them as models for threatened places in other communities, and we must demand improvements in helpful public policies, and an overhaul of those that hurt our cause.”

Detailed descriptions of these places can be viewed here.

 

via: Preservation New Jersey unveils list of state’s most endangered historic sites | State | NewJerseyNewsroom.com — Your State. Your News..

May 19th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

May 19th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

Faces three years for selling hundreds of stolen artifacts

An American history professor has been arrested by Israeli authorities at the country’s main airport as he attempted to slip out of the country with items allegedly obtained from illegal grave robberies.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said the man, identified as John Lund from Utah, had ancient coins, pottery and Roman-era glass in his possession as well as over $20,000 in cash and checks as he tried to board an airplane for an unknown destination.

They accused him of taking advantage of his status in order to obtain hundreds of stolen antiquities and then sell them to members of a tour group that he was leading to the Holy Land. After his interrogation the 70-year-old tour guide he was released on $7,500 bond guaranteeing he return to face trial.

“This case is something special because what we have here is an American citizen, a doctor of history at an American university in Utah, who took advantage of his knowledge and as a tour leader in Israel to contact people who have looted antiquities an try to market them,” Shay Bar-Tura, from the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Theft of Antiquities, told The Media Line.

The heritage of the ancient world has always been at threat and even now is being eroded by illegal excavations and grave robbing to meet the escalating demand for antiquities. Most of the Mediterranean countries, including Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Jordan, have outlawed the trade in antiquities, but Israel allows it under intense regulation by licensed dealers.

Still, driven by lucrative prices, grave robbers have continued to plunder thousands of the over 14,000 ancient sites, mostly tombs, estimated to exist across Israel. The small IAA unit composed of about two-dozen armed rangers, faces an uphill battle trying to stem the looting.

According to the IAA, Lund first came under suspicion when he was seen selling ancient artifacts to a tourist in a Jerusalem hotel. The inspectors detained him and searched his room, finding hundreds of ancient artifacts, which were seized. He was let off with a warning. But agents kept him under surveillance and saw that he “resumed his evil ways” and continued selling antiquities to tourists.

A few days later, amazed customs inspectors detained about 20 members of a tour group crossing the border into Egypt from Eilat after they were found to have in their possession dozens of archaeological items they were attempting to smuggle out of the country with permits. The IAA determined that the tourists had no idea that it was illegal and after turning over the items, some of which cost thousands of dollars, they were allowed to leave.

These items included ancient bronze and silver coins dating to the time of Jesus, clay oil lamps and glass vessels from the Roman and Byzantine periods. All of the items had been stolen from tombs and ancient sites in Israel, an IAA statement said.

After questioning, it turned out that they all purchased the artifacts from Lund during their visit to Israel. Word apparently reached him and he rushed to the Ben Gurion International Airport to flee the country, but was caught.

“The suspect admitted the offenses ascribed to him and at the conclusion of the investigation was allowed to fly to the United States after he deposited a large bond,” the IAA said.

“This guy committed several offenses against our domestic antiquities law,” Bar-Tura said. “He will be indicted for the offenses he has committed and he is looking at a maximum jail sentence of three years or a severe fine. And this is in addition to the antiquities that were seized from him and the checks in the sums of tens of thousands of dollars.”

Some of the items included a rare Roman-era lamp decorated with a seven-branched menorah and silver coins from the Second Temple period, 2,000 years ago. Lund, a lecturer and expert on Egyptian history and culture, couldn’t be reached for comment.

“This guy had no license and no legal standing to do what he did. We are absolutely certain that the origin of these items is in wrong doing,” Bar-Tura said.

He explained that according to Israeli law, all ancient artifacts must be purchased from a legal dealer and they all must have an export license, even for items as small as ancient coins.

“Our major concern is the looting of archaeological sites and the artifacts in the illegal market are obviously from this kind of activity, from the looting of archaeological sites,” Bar-Tura said. “Archaeological items don’t grow on trees. It’s not like a tomato you can find in the market. Somebody went to a site, dug into it, creating a great deal of damage and then removed the artifacts that he found in order to put them on the market.”

Antiquity dealers say their stocks came from before Israel passed a law in 1978 declaring anything discovered belonged to the state. IAA suspects that dealers replace every object sold with a similar one in order to circumvent regulations. Israel tolerates this out of the belief that outlawing the trade all together would only send it underground where it would be more difficult to monitor.

“We are not going to put our head in the sand and say it is illegal and banned, because even in the Mediterranean countries where it is banned this kind of commerce is going on,” Bar-Tura said. “We try to regulate it and oversee it.”

His unit was investigating the source of the artifacts obtained and sold by Lund, but Bar-Tura warned that even some of the most prestigious antiquity dealers sell items of questionable provenance.

“Anywhere you go, even in the most fancy of galleries in London and New York, most of these artifacts, if they do not have solid provenance and archaeological origin, then they are most likely from site looting. Whether that site looting took place 200 years ago or 2,000 years ago, it’s not really relevant to the damage done to the archaeological sites,” he said.


 

via: The Media Line.

May 18th, 2011

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers

‘Arbeit macht frei’-opschrift hersteld na diefstal – Buitenland

18/05/11, 15u28

Na een jaar renovatiewerk is het ijzerwerk met de spreuk ‘Arbeit macht frei’, dat boven de toegangspoort van het voormalige vernietigingskamp Auschwitz hing, hersteld. De kans is echter klein dat het opnieuw boven de ingang komt te hangen, zegt de directeur van het Auschwitz-Birkenau museum. “Het werk zal waarschijnlijk op een veilige plaats opgeborgen worden, zegt directeur Piotr Cywinski. “Het is heel moeilijk te beschermen tegen mensen die slechte bedoelingen hebben. Het is veiliger als het niet opnieuw aan de ingang komt te hangen.”

Het ijzerwerk werd in december 2009 gestolen en minder dan drie dagen later al teruggevonden, in drie stukken gezaagd. De vijf Poolse dieven werden meteen gearresteerd. (dpa/lpb)

 

via: ‘Arbeit macht frei’-opschrift hersteld na diefstal – Buitenland – De Morgen.

May 18th, 2011

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

‘Arbeit macht frei’-opschrift hersteld na diefstal – Buitenland

18/05/11, 15u28

Na een jaar renovatiewerk is het ijzerwerk met de spreuk ‘Arbeit macht frei’, dat boven de toegangspoort van het voormalige vernietigingskamp Auschwitz hing, hersteld. De kans is echter klein dat het opnieuw boven de ingang komt te hangen, zegt de directeur van het Auschwitz-Birkenau museum. “Het werk zal waarschijnlijk op een veilige plaats opgeborgen worden, zegt directeur Piotr Cywinski. “Het is heel moeilijk te beschermen tegen mensen die slechte bedoelingen hebben. Het is veiliger als het niet opnieuw aan de ingang komt te hangen.”

Het ijzerwerk werd in december 2009 gestolen en minder dan drie dagen later al teruggevonden, in drie stukken gezaagd. De vijf Poolse dieven werden meteen gearresteerd. (dpa/lpb)

 

via: ‘Arbeit macht frei’-opschrift hersteld na diefstal – Buitenland – De Morgen.

May 18th, 2011

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

Police Offer Rewards for Palace Museum Stolen Relics

Rewards are being offered for anyone who returns missing relics stolen from the Palace Museum on May 8 or provides tips on their whereabouts, Beijing Police announced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Police have recovered six stolen relics and returned them to the museum, but three pieces remain missing, according to the spokesman for the Beijing municipal police.

The amount of reward has yet to be decided as authorities have yet to pinpoint the value of the missing pieces, the spokesman said.

Shi Baikui, a 28-year-old man from east China’s Shandong Province, was apprehended by police on May 11 at an Internet cafe in Beijing’s Fengtai District, 58 hours after the relics were stolen.

Police say he has confessed to the theft.

Shi entered the museum as a visitor on May 8 and then hid himself inside and waited until closing time, according to police. He then broke a window on the northern side of the exhibition hall to gain entry and proceeded to steal relics.

Police say Shi said he wanted to sell the relics to a store in Beijing but was turned away because the store owner said the pieces were fake. He then ditched the relics.

Police found five of the pieces in the woods in Haidian district.Another piece was returned by a man surnamed Yang.

The pieces were on loan from Hong Kong-based Liang Yi Museum and being exhibited in the Chengsu Hall of the Palace Museum. A spokesman with the Palace Museum offered an apology to Liang Yi Museum on Wednesday.

via:

Police Offer Rewards for Palace Museum Stolen Relics.

May 18th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Kuba-Museum klagt über Diebstähle – newsclick.de

http://www.newsclick.de/index.jsp/menuid/2164/artid/14223933

May 18, 2011

Von Kai-Uwe Ruf

zoom

Großansicht

Großansicht

Gut besucht war der Tag der offenen Tür am Samstag im Wolfenbütteler Kuba-Museum. Trotzdem ärgerten sich die Museumsbetreiber mächtig, nachdem die letzten Gäste die Räume verlassen hatten.

Mehrere der alten Musiktruhen und Phonographen, die in dem Museum ausgestellt sind, seien beschädigt worden, sagt Jürgen Cisielskie, Vorsitzender des Vereins, der das Museum betreibt.

Eine alte Schellackplatte mit einer Aufnahme des Startenors Enrico Caruso liegt zerbrochen auf dem Teller eines alten Trichtergrammophons. Die Schellack-Platte stammt aus dem Jahr 1908. Sie sei oft verwendet worden, um den Klang der alten Tonmöbel zu demonstrieren. Nun liegen nur noch zwei zerbrochene Hälften der Schellack-Platte auf dem Teller des Grammophons.

Gestohlen wurde laut Cisielskie unter anderem die Schalldose eines alten Edison-Phonographen. Ohne Schalldose kann das Trichtergerät von Tonwalzen keine Musik mehr abspielen. “Der Dieb hat den Trichter wieder aufs Gerät gesteckt, damit wir nicht gleich merken, dass die Dose fehlt”, sagt Cisielskie.

Gestohlen worden seien außerdem verschiedene Schriftzüge, die auf Geräten aufgebracht gewesen seien. Eine weitere Musiktruhe sei von Besuchern beschädigt worden. Das Museum wolle bei der Polizei Anzeige erstatten.

Dienstag, 17.05.2011

Quelle: http://www.newsclick.de/index.jsp/artid/14223933/menuid/2164

 

via: Kuba-Museum klagt über Diebstähle – newsclick.de.

May 18th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

May 18th, 2011

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

May 18th, 2011

Posted In: insider theft

Kenly museum won’t open after thief steals $12,000 worth of artifacts

KENLY, N.C. —

After thousands of dollars of artifacts and items were stolen from a North Carolina museum, the museum will not open to the public.

Someone broke into the Carolina Military Vehicle Preservation Association military museum in Kenly last week, stealing $12,000 worth of items such as WWII and Civil War replica guns as well as uniforms from veterans.

Robert Jovek, president of the CMVPA, said after a discussion with club members and the lack of support from the community, the museum will not open on July 4 like they had planned.

“The CMVPA doesn’t have the resources to continue construction (installing bathroom, plumbing, painting floor), replacing the items stolen and don’t even have a way to continue working on our military vehicles at the location,” Jovek stated in an email to NBC-17.

The building was insured, but the contents inside were not, said Jovek.

For a detailed description on the stolen items, click here.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call police.

 

via: Kenly museum won’t open after thief steals $12,000 worth of artifacts | NBC17.com.

May 18th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Melbourne Museum thefts prompt security review – Local News – News – General – Melbourne Times Weekly

http://www.melbournetimesweekly.com.au/news/local/news/general/melbourne-museum-thefts-prompt-security-review/2165479.aspx

May 18, 2011

MELBOURNE Museum will review its security following the theft of two items this month.

On May 7 between 1am and 3am, an Aboriginal spearthrower from Central Australia and a T-shirt from another exhibition were stolen from the Carlton museum.

Museum Victoria spokeswoman Emma Watts would not reveal what kind of security the museum had at the time of the theft. However, she confirmed the museum was investigating how the thief stole the items. No alarm was sounded at the time.

‘‘Clearly on this occasion our systems have not worked fully and, as with any serious incident, we will immediately undertake a full review of security at the museum,’’ Ms Watts said.

The spearthrower, which is made of mulga wood, is about 80 centimetres long, with carved circles and lines depicting waterholes, creeks and claypans. The thief used the stolen T-shirt to disguise his face. The suspect was described as a 1.8-metre tall male with a slight build.

Museum Victoria chief executive Patrick Greene said the spearthrower was of ‘‘great cultural significance’’ and appealed for both items to be returned.

‘‘We are obviously deeply concerned at this incident. The safety of all items at our museum is of the highest importance,’’ Dr Greene said.

Melbourne North Crime Investigation Unit Senior Constable Andrew White said investigations were continuing.

The incident has not affected the museum’s Winter Masterpieces exhibition, Tutankhamun and The Golden Age of the Pharaohs.

 

via: Melbourne Museum thefts prompt security review – Local News – News – General – Melbourne Times Weekly.

May 18th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Thief threw away treasures when told they were fakes

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/nsp/National/2011/05/18/Thief+threw+away+treasures+when+told+they+were+fakes/

May 18, 2011

National

By Xu Chi  |   2011-5-18  |


THE thief who stole art pieces from the Palace Museum on May 8 discarded the objects after a jewelry shop boss told him they were fakes and had no value, Beijing police said yesterday.

More details of the theft were disclosed at a press conference in Beijing yesterday when police returned a total of six pieces to the museum – two recovered near the museum after they went missing and four retrieved after they had been stolen.

Police are still looking for the remaining three stolen pieces and are offering a reward to anyone who returns the missing items or provides information leading to their recovery.

Police said the suspect, Shi Baikui, a 28-year-old man from Shandong Province, had planned his actions in advance rather than acting on the spur of the moment as previously reported in the media.

Shi told police he came to Beijing in March and was unemployed. By chance, a TV program about the Palace Museum caught his attention, and later he had the idea of stealing objects from it to get rich.

Shi said he searched for museum information online and visited it to check out the area.

Police said he checked out routes leading to the moat that encircles the Imperial Palace, also known as the Forbidden City. He paid special attention to the museum’s closing time and when security guards make their final rounds.

Shi managed to sneak into the museum without buying a ticket on May 8 and hid in a narrow passage near the jewelry exhibition hall until it got dark.

At 8pm he turned off a power switch, broke windows to enter the exhibition hall, stole the objects and escaped by climbing over the compound wall.

He threw some of the objects away when he was making his escape and ditched the rest after the jewelry shop boss told him they were fake and refused to buy them.

According to the Beijing police, one of the items was found by a construction worker surnamed Yang, who found the piece lying on the ground early in the morning on May 9.

Yang compared the object with the stolen goods shown on TV news and found they looked like the same, so he handed it in to police.

Police yesterday warned that anyone who found any of the missing items but then refused to return them to police could face up to seven years in jail.

via: Thief threw away treasures when told they were fakes — Shanghai Daily | 上海日报 — English Window to China New.

May 18th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Former library director facing theft charges

http://www.northjersey.com/news/121686493_Librarian_facing_theft_charges_.html

May 14, 2011

The former director of the Haledon Free Public Library was arrested last month on charges of official misconduct and theft for purchases she allegedly paid with library funds, police said.

Judith Erk of Haledon was arrested at her Belmont Avenue home on April 29 following “an extensive investigation into online purchases billed to and paid through library funds” conducted by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Public Integrity Unit, and the North Haledon Police Department.

Authorities also executed a search warrant of Erk’s home, stating that evidence related to the case was recovered from the premises, police said. Various items were seized from the residence including electronics, kitchen appliances, jewelry and a faux fireplace.

Earlier this year, Erk was removed from the directorship of the Haledon Free Public Library and replaced with interim director, Claire Houghdon-Kiel. Erk is currently an assistant librarian at Manchester Regional High School.

Erk was charged with one count of official misconduct and theft by deception in excess of $75,000 in HaledonMunicipal Court. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison. Bail was set at $50,000 with no 10-percent option. She later posted bail.

The matter was later transferred from Haledon Municipal Court to Passaic County Superior Court.

Erk was at the center of another controversy in March 2010 when the library board voted to increase her salary by approximately $11,000 – from $57,749 to $68,900 – at a meeting that violated the Open Public Meetings Law. The board provided no public notice of the meeting prior to the salary bump.

Following criticism of the action by Haledon Mayor Domenick Stampone, the board later reduced the increase to approximately $6,000 for a total of $63,900.

E-mail: zaremba@northjersey.com

The former director of the Haledon Free Public Library was arrested last month on charges of official misconduct and theft for purchases she allegedly paid with library funds, police said. 

Judith Erk of Haledon was arrested at her Belmont Avenue home on April 29 following “an extensive investigation into online purchases billed to and paid through library funds” conducted by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, Public Integrity Unit, and the North Haledon Police Department.

Authorities also executed a search warrant of Erk’s home, stating that evidence related to the case was recovered from the premises, police said. Various items were seized from the residence including electronics, kitchen appliances, jewelry and a faux fireplace.

Earlier this year, Erk was removed from the directorship of the Haledon Free Public Library and replaced with interim director, Claire Houghdon-Kiel. Erk is currently an assistant librarian at Manchester Regional High School.

Erk was charged with one count of official misconduct and theft by deception in excess of $75,000 in Haledon Municipal Court. Both charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison. Bail was set at $50,000 with no 10-percent option. She later posted bail.

The matter was later transferred from Haledon Municipal Court to Passaic County Superior Court.

Erk was at the center of another controversy in March 2010 when the library board voted to increase her salary by approximately $11,000 – from $57,749 to $68,900 – at a meeting that violated the Open Public Meetings Law. The board provided no public notice of the meeting prior to the salary bump.

Following criticism of the action by Haledon Mayor Domenick Stampone, the board later reduced the increase to approximately $6,000 for a total of $63,900.

E-mail: zaremba@northjersey.com

via:

 

Former library director facing theft charges.

May 14th, 2011

Posted In: insider theft

Beijing police recover six pieces of art stolen from Palace Museum

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/culture/2011-05/13/c_13873769.htm

May 14, 2011
BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) — Beijing police said Friday that they have recovered six pieces of art that were stolen from the Palace Museum on Monday, and they will continue their search for the other missing pieces.

Police authorities, however, did not say how many pieces remain missing and how they recovered the lost relics that had been loaned to the Palace Museum by Hong Kong’s private Liang Yi Museum.

Fu Zhenghua, director of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, cited the museum’s support and the police’s application of “advanced technologies” as reasons for a fast recovery of the stolen pieces.

Police had previously detained a male suspect, 28, in a suburban Beijing Internet cafe. Shi Baikui, a native of east China’s Shandong Province, is suspected of breaking into the heavily-guarded Forbidden City museum to steal the relics, mostly Western-style make-up cases encrusted with jewels, on May 9.

Shi confessed to the theft during police interrogations, officials said.

via:

Beijing police recover six pieces of art stolen from Palace Museum.

May 14th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Theft Reveals Lapses in Chinese Museum’s Security

HONG KONG — A bungled art theft this week at the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City in Beijing may not have been worthy of a master thief, with the police quickly claiming to have found the suspect, but the episode has nonetheless produced questions and criticism about security at Chinese museums.

Details of the theft from the police and museum officials — and a brief, televised confession by the burglary suspect — suggest an amateurish effort that art experts said the museum should have been prepared to withstand. But the official account also left some unanswered questions, including whether the suspect was acting alone.

A short, gaunt 28-year-old identified as Shi Baikui went on national television on Thursday morning to say that while visiting the famous museum as a tourist on Sunday evening, he had suddenly decided to rob it. With his face nearly expressionless and his voice flat, Mr. Shi said that he stayed after everyone had left, then stole jewel-encrusted gold purses and powder cases on loan from a wealthy Hong Kong art collector.

According to museum and police officials, the burglar bashed open at least one display case and took nine of the purses and powder cases, all of Western design and made in the 20th century, including a round Tiffany powder case from the 1950s. Another case with even more valuable objects in the same temporary exhibition was also battered, but it did not break open and nothing was lost from it.

A museum worker tried to stop a “suspicious man” in the museum at 10:30 p.m. and sounded the alarm, according to the authorities. But the man fled and eluded the workers, guards and armed police officers who soon converged. Two of the nine objects were found with slight damage on the museum grounds, but the other seven were gone.

Mr. Shi was arrested Wednesday evening. Some but not all of the seven objects were recovered, a Beijing police spokesman said by telephone on Thursday, declining to elaborate.

There were conflicting reports on Thursday about why the crime was not detected immediately by security cameras and stopped. Before the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and ever since, the police have festooned mile after mile of lampposts along Beijing roads with thousands of outdoor surveillance cameras, while the Forbidden City itself has hundreds of them.

State news media said that a surveillance camera had captured an image of the suspect, but did not say when or where. In a report that appeared to suggest a more ambitious criminal scheme, The Beijing Evening News cited an unidentified source as saying that someone had cut off the electricity to at least part of the museum before the display cases were robbed, depriving the museum’s surveillance center of video.

The Palace Museum issued an apology and said it would improve security.

Art experts were highly critical of the museum on Thursday as details of the crime dribbled out.

“It’s a great embarrassment for what is considered to be the premier museum of China,” said Marc F. Wilson, a prominent Chinese art expert and the former chief executive of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo.

At the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the Nationalists took most of the Palace Museum’s best works to Taiwan, where they are now on display at the magnificent National Palace Museum on the outskirts of Taipei. But the Palace Museum in Beijing occupies a special place in China as a symbol of national heritage, like the Louvre in Paris or the Prado in Madrid, and Beijing officials have demanded for decades that Taiwan return the rest of the collection.

The National Palace Museum declined Thursday to comment on the Beijing art theft, except to say that no similar crime had ever taken place in Taiwan.

Most art museums now take special precautions with gold or bejeweled artifacts because these tend to draw amateur thieves, Mr. Wilson said. The exhibit should have had very tough plexiglass that would have resisted battering for quite a while, as well as motion detectors and surveillance cameras.

Museums also have a tradition of providing strong security for any exhibits on loan, and particularly on loan from other international art centers. The nine artworks were on loan from the private Liangyi Museum in Hong Kong, which holds the collection of Peter Fung, a well-known investor over the past 30 years in companies across Southeast Asia. Mr. Fung did not return telephone calls on Thursday.

The timing of the government’s announcements about the crime suggested careful choreography. The Palace Museum kept the crime a secret on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage ordered the country’s museums to close temporarily to review their security. Several hours later, the Palace Museum announced the crime at a news conference.

The police then announced late Wednesday that they had already caught the suspect at 7:40 p.m., at an Internet cafe in southwestern Beijing.

Chinese law requires that all Internet cafes and nightclubs have security cameras that continuously send images directly to neighborhood police stations. Face recognition computer software is being rapidly installed at police stations across the nation to process these images, according to surveillance industry executives.

The software tends to produce a lot of false positives — people who may bear a passing resemblance to a suspect. But Chinese law provides few legal remedies for cases offalse arrest, making it easier for the police to use the technology on a large scale.

In a statement, the Beijing police said only that the suspect had been found “through the use of technology in an era of Internet cafes,” and noted that the case had been cracked in only 58 hours.

Heavy coverage by state media seemed intended to dismiss — without actually mentioning — the possibility of theft by an insider. Art scholars have long complained of periodic thefts by insiders at provincial museums across China.

The Forbidden City itself lost many valuable works, including its most famous painting, in the years after the overthrow of the last emperor, Pu Yi, in 1911. When Pu Yi was forced to leave the premises in 1924, he took the early 12th-century painting, “Along the River During the Qingming Festival,” with him. The Japanese later installed Pu Yi as their puppet ruler in Manchuria, and he still had the painting when the Soviet Army captured him at the end of World War II.

It was returned to what was by then the Palace Museum and remains there, although it is seldom exhibited because of its fragility.

via Art Theft Reveals Security Lapses at China’s Palace Museum – NYTimes.com.

May 13th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Baltimore Crime Beat: Ring stolen from Camden Yards museum – Baltimore crime news: Police, courts and police stories in the city and central Maryland – baltimoresun.com

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/blog/2011/05/ring_stolen_from_sports_legend.html

May 13, 2011

Over the past 30 years, two items had been stolen from the Babe Ruth and Sports Legends museums, and both were recovered.

Officials at the Camden Yards museum are hoping for similar luck after a ring was swiped last week from a display case, part of a collection of items honoring legendary amateur coach and Orioles scout Walter Youse.

“We’ve provided all the information the police have asked for, and we’re hopeful that it will turn up something here. Ultimately, the most important thing is the recovery of the ring,” said Michael Gibbons, executive director of the museum.

[Photo courtesy Sports Legends Museum]

The stolen item is a championship ring for the 1996 All-American Amateur Baseball Association, presented to Youse by the local team’s sponsor, according to curator Shawn M. Henne. Gibbons said it was on loan from family of Youse, who died in 2002. Officials have not been able to contact family, and are concerned that a week has gone by with seemingly no breaks in the investigation.

It was last seen on May 4 during a tour, and was reported missing when a custodian noticed it was not in its case on the afternoon of May 5.

Gibbons noted that two prior thefts from the Babe Ruth Museum led to the recovery of the items. In 1995, a baseball signed by some of the game’s all-time greats – called the “Matchless Ball” because of its uniqueness – was stolen from its secure perch at the Babe Ruth Museum and later recovered under equally baffling circumstances when an anonymous tipster directed officials to a brown paper bag containing the ball. The ball was valued at between 500,000 and $1.5 million at the time.

A decade earlier, a trophy commemorating the Orioles’ 1894 National League championship season and the 1944 International League champion was swiped and later recovered, Gibbons said.

In the theft of the Youse ring, Gibbons said the item was contained in a heavy glass case that was not easily accessible. Museum officials have since conducted a security review and were satisfied that other items are “totally secure.” But he said the notion that someone would take a priceless item from the museum was distressing.

“It just gets you so upset,” Gibbons said.

Anyone with information can call the Southern District police station at 410-396-2499.

 

via: Baltimore Crime Beat: Ring stolen from Camden Yards museum – Baltimore crime news: Police, courts and police stories in the city and central Maryland – baltimoresun.com.

May 13th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

US returns ‘remarkable treasures’ to Peru

WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday returned a collection of stolen historical artefacts to Peru, including textiles and pottery estimated to be up to 1,800 years old.

“The antiquities we are returning today are remarkable treasures of untold historical significance. More than mere objects, they provide clues into the lives of our ancestors,” said Luis Alvarez, assistant director for international affairs of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“These items, valued at more than $43,000, were illegally imported from Peru and discovered as part of three investigations,” Alvarez added at the handing-over ceremony at the Peruvian embassy in Washington.

The artefacts, which were recovered in operations in Texas, New York and Colorado, include an Inca pottery vessel depicting a man with a llama, believed to be some 600 years old, and textiles thought to be as old as 1,600 years old, which were likely dug up from graves on Peru’s Pacific coast.

The repatriated pieces of history also included a yellowing manuscript on philosophy, a pot with a feline on one side, another depicting a feline standing up, and a small stone jaguar-human sculpture believed to be 1,200-1,500 years old.

Peruvian ambassador to the United States, Luis Miguel Valdivieso Montano, said the return of the artefacts was the first by the United States to Peru since Yale University handed back a collection of 366 historical pieces from the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

The Machu Picchu artefacts got a grandiose welcome in March when they were returned to Peru, and Yale University is due next year to hand back to Peru another 40,000 ancient artefacts, which were “loaned” to the US university, the ambassador said.

via AFP: US returns ‘remarkable treasures’ to Peru.

May 13th, 2011

Posted In: looting and illegal art traffickers

Will James Cuno change the Getty, or will the Getty change James Cuno? | Culture Monster | Los Angeles Times

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2011/05/james-cuno-getty-center-antiquities.html

May 13, 2011

No issue has consumed the American art world over the last two decades like the collecting of ancient art.

In recent years, museums, collectors and dealers have been linked to the black market in recently looted antiquities, forcing the return of hundreds of ancient objects to Italy and Greece.

As described in Ralph Frammolino’s and my forthcoming book, “Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum,” the J. Paul Getty Trust was scarred worse than most in the ensuing scandal. The museum’s former antiquities curator was criminally indicted in Italy, and it returned about 40 ancient masterpieces after its history of shady collecting practices came to light.

But the Getty emerged from that scandal as a leading reformer, showing that loans and cooperation with foreign governments can successfully replace a reliance on a corrupt antiquities market.

So it was a surprise to many when Getty board members announced Monday that they had hired James Cuno to be the Getty’s new president and chief executive officer. The previous CEO, James Wood, died last June.


Cuno, currently director of the Art Institute of Chicago, has been an outspoken critic of attempts to curb the trade in antiquities. In two books and in his public lectures, he has labeled the efforts of foreign governments to control their ancient heritage “nationalist.” And he openly laments the legal limits museums face when buying ancient art with murky ownership histories.

In an interview with the Times, Cuno struck a somewhat awkward pose, vowing to enforce the Getty’s strict collecting guidelines while standing behind his public criticism of such policies.

The dissonance between Cuno’s past and future leaves many wondering: Will the Getty change Cuno, or will Cuno change the Getty?

— Jason Felch

via: Will James Cuno change the Getty, or will the Getty change James Cuno? | Culture Monster | Los Angeles Times.

May 13th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

Museum security review as man detained over art theft — Shanghai Daily | 上海日报 — English Window to China New.:

Museum security review as man detained over art theft — Shanghai Daily | 上海日报 — English Window to China New

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/nsp/National/2011/05/12/Museum+security+review+as+man+detained+over+art+theft/

May 12, 2011

National

Source: Agencies/Shanghai Daily |   2011-5-12  |    NEWSPAPER EDITION


Photographs released by Palace Museum show the seven art pieces stolen from an exhibit at the famed Forbidden City, the heavily guarded former home of China’s emperors. The gold pieces, encrusted with jewels, were on loan from the private Liang Yi Museum in Hong Kong.

More in photo gallery

BEIJING police said last night that they had detained a man suspected of stealing seven art pieces from the Palace Museum in Beijing’s heavily-guarded Forbidden City.

The suspect, Shi Baikui, 28, from Caoxian County of Shandong Province in east China, was detained by police at 7:40pm in Fengtai District in Beijing, 58 hours after the relics were stolen, reported the China Central Television, citing the Beijing Public Security Bureau.

He was caught at an Internet cafe in Fengtai.

Police also recovered some of the stolen artifacts, the television station said, without specifying how they located the suspect.

Shi has lived in the capital city for about four years.

Lack of money moved him to pull off the heist on Monday, Shi reportedly told police.

The stolen items were on loan from the Hong Kong-based Liang Yi Museum and were discovered missing at 8:20am on Monday.

As of now, Shi confessed he had stolen the relics in the Palace Museum and he was detained, police said last night, revealing no more details about the man.

Police said some of the stolen items have been recovered. An investigation is still under way.

According to the police, a museum staff member found and questioned a “suspicious” man in the museum at 10:30pm on Sunday night. The man fled when the worker called museum authorities to report his presence.

Nine art pieces made of gold and jewels were later found to be missing from a temporary exhibition.

It was the first theft in 20 years from the historic site, spokesman Feng Nai’en said yesterday afternoon, adding that security would be increased.

“For this to happen here shows us that, No. 1, we need to speed up the modernization and installation of our security systems,” Feng said. “No. 2, we need to find out if we can implement better, more sophisticated security systems.”

Guards saw a suspect fleeing the scene early Monday but failed to apprehend him, Feng said.

An investigation found that nine pieces – all small Western-style gold purses and mirrored compacts covered with jewels made in the 20th century – were missing.

Two of the items were recovered nearby and were slightly damaged.

Feng said the entire Palace Museum will be checked to see if any other items are missing.

Wang Xiahong, curator of the Liang Yi Museum, refused to reveal the value of the stolen items, which belong to Hong Kong art collector Fung Yiu Fai.

She said that despite the theft, the exhibition would continue and other pieces would be added to the show, which is temporarily closed but expected to reopen soon.

The museum’s deputy director, Ma Jige, told reporters he felt “very guilty and sorry.”

The Palace Museum last encountered a case of theft in 1991. That was eventually solved, according to Xinhua news agency.

May 12th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Dief Verboden Stad opgepakt – DePers.nl

http://www.depers.nl/buitenland/567962/Dief-Verboden-Stad-opgepakt.html

May 12, 2011

Gepubliceerd: vandaag 14:31
Update: vandaag 14:33

De dader van de inbraak in de Verboden Stad in Peking is opgepakt. Dat meldde het Chinese staatspersbureau Xinhua donderdag. De 28-jarige inbreker heeft bekend. De buit is niet volledig teruggevonden.

De man werd zondag betrapt tijdens de inbraak, maar wist te ontkomen. Hij ging er vandoor met zes zilveren en gouden poederdoosjes en een gouden handtasje. De waarde van de gestolen stukken bedraagt enkele miljoenen euro’s. Volgens Chinese media werkte het alarm van het museum niet.

Na de diefstal vond de politie vlakbij het museum twee zwaar beschadigde stukken terug. De restauratie hiervan wordt een moeilijke klus, aldus een curator van het museum Liangyi in Hongkong dat de stukken had uitgeleend voor de tentoonstelling in Peking.

via: Dief Verboden Stad opgepakt – DePers.nl.

May 12th, 2011

Posted In: diefstal uit museum

 

Paintings stolen from Perry museum recovered

http://thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_cfcf7968-7c8e-11e0-8c44-001cc4c03286.html

May 12, 2011

Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 7:53 amUpdated: 7:56 am, Thu May 12, 2011.

A Medina man has been charged for possessing two paintings stolen from Perry Public Library, state police said.

The Lemuel Wiles paintings and other items were found inside a storage locker belonging to Michael Ortiz’s father in Brockport, said Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen.

Ortiz, 40, is already facing trial in connection with antique thefts in Warsaw. He was arraigned Tuesday for third-degree criminal possession of stolen property after grand jury proceedings in Monroe County.

He was committed to Monroe County Jail without bail.

“Boat Landing at Silver Lake” and “Early Snow” were taken from the library in September 2008. They’re valued at more than $9,000.

“They had already recovered them last year, but they presented the case to the grand jury last month, and they arrested him yesterday,” said Library Director Peggy Parker on Wednesday.

“The only thing we know is they’re still in the evidence locker and I did see them, so I’m assured it’s our paintings,” she continued. “We wouldn’t be able to get them back until after the trial.”

The paintings were discovered after a lengthy investigation by state police and numerous other agencies. Troopers believe some of the recovered items may have been taken from locations across Western New York.

Ortiz and his brother Roy, 37, are already facing trial in Wyoming County. They’re each charged with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, and fourth-degree grand larceny.

The two brothers are accused of stealing a Union Army Coat and swords from the Gates House Museum in Warsaw, back in November 2009.

They’ll be tried separately on the Warsaw charges, O’Geen said. Michael’s case will go to trial June 2 and Roy’s case is slated for July 11.

Roy Ortiz is being held in Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Wiles was a Perry native whose works reflected the Hudson River school of painting, which emphasized romantic images of America’s wilderness. His paintings depict local scenes, along with views of Europe and the western United States.

Parker said the paintings were missing their frames but their condition appeared otherwise unchanged. She said the library is looking forward to getting them back.

“We were thrilled when they were in the same condition,” she said. “Other than the fact the frames were missing, the paintings appeared unchanged.”

Historic societies and others with questions about the items recovered are asked to call state police investigators at (585) 398-4100.

via:

Paintings stolen from Perry museum recovered – The Daily News Online: News.

May 12th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Military memorabilia stolen from Kenly museum

http://www2.nbc17.com/news/2011/may/11/military-memorabilia-stolen-kenly-museum-ar-1025113/

May 12, 2011
Museum officials believe this is how the suspect or supects gained entry to the museum.
Thousands of dollars worth of artifacts from the Carolina Military Vehicle Preservation Association military museum were stolen Tuesday during broad daylight, according to museum officials. 

Robert Jopekpresident of the CMVPA, says he was at the museum up until 2 p.m. and left for about two hours to pick up some items.Jopek says he returned around 5 p.m. to find an almost empty museum.

Jopek said upon his return, he immediately noticed the club’s black 1988 Mercedes was missing. He called 911 to report the missing vehicle, then went inside the museum.

The entire front part of the museum, including tools used to restore vehicles were missing, WWII and Civil War replica guns, uniforms from veterans, and other artifacts were also stolen, according to Jopek. For a detailed description on the stolen items and for updated information, click here to visit the CMVPA website.

Museum officials say the stolen merchandise is worth at least $12,000 but say some of the items were priceless and irreplaceable.

The CMVPA is a nonprofit veterans group with about 100 members, consisting of veterans, historians and community members. They say they were hoping to open the museum by July 4 and are shocked that someone was able to steal so many items in a two hour period.

They’re asking anyone with information on this robbery to call police.

via:

Military memorabilia stolen from Kenly museum | NBC17.com.

May 12th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Antique coins stolen from Cairo University museum | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Todays News from Egypt

http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/433477

May 12, 2011

A number of items have gone missing from the museum at Cairo University’s faculty of archaeology, according to a press statement from the university on Wednesday.

The statement said that a few ancient coins have gone missing from the museum, which has been closed since 10 February, and that prosecutors are investigating the case.

The dean of the faculty ordered the museum’s closure in February due to lack of security during the revolution. The museum curators told her that she should obtain an official order from the university administration and the Ministry of Antiquities. She ignored the advice and only issued a verbal order for the closure.

The museum, which is located on the top floor of the faculty building, displays 1950 items in two main halls.

“Closing the museum helped the thieves steal without being noticed,” said Mohamed al-Kholy, professor of archaeology.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

Antique coins stolen from Cairo University museum Al-Masry Al-Youm: Todays News from Egypt.

May 12th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

BBC News – China police arrest man over Forbidden City art theft

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13372972

May 12, 2011

The stolen items were on loan to the museum from a private collection in Hong Kong

Police in China have arrested a man they say broke into Beijing’s famed Forbidden City, and stole seven pieces of art from the Palace Museum.

Police said the man was detained in an internet cafe and that he had confessed to the robbery – the first theft from the former imperial palace in 20 years.

The stolen items – which were on loan to the museum – included a purse and women’s make-up cases.

State media reported some pieces had been recovered but gave no details.

The valuable items were stolen from one of China’s top historical sites in the heart of Beijing.

News reports on Wednesday said the thief got into the complex by knocking a hole in a wall.

The stolen items date from the beginning of the last century and are said to be worth millions of dollars. Some are encrusted with precious stones.

EmbarrassmentOne official at the Palace Museum has blamed a lapse in security, and said improvements would be made.

“For this to happen here shows us that No 1, we need to speed up the modernisation and installation of our security systems,” said official Feng Nai’en at a news conference.

“No 2, we need to investigate carefully and find out if we can implement better, more modern and more sophisticated security systems.”

The items were on loan from Liangyicang, a private collection in Hong Kong.

The Beijing News reported that the Hong Kong museum had not insured the items for as much as it could have because it believed they would be safe in Beijing.

The Palace Museum is based within the Forbidden City, home to the country’s emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The complex is made up of courtyards, palaces and gardens. It became a museum in 1921 after the fall of the last emperor Puyi a decade earlier.

BBC News – China police arrest man over Forbidden City art theft.

May 12th, 2011

Posted In: Museum thefts

Ten Famous Works of Art that Are Forever Damaged by Carelessness, Negligence, Anger or Pure Insanity

http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=47248

May 12, 2011
NEW YORK, NY.- The most impressive works of art often took months or even years to complete. Artists pour their knowledge, creativity and emotions into their projects. Their finished products are filled with meaning and thus personal importance, the value of which cannot be appropriately measured, at least until they sell to the highest bidder. The following famous works of art cost a lot of money, held a lot of significance to the art community, and were unfortunately damaged due to carelessness, negligence, anger or pure insanity, likely causing the creators great despair — or to roll over in their graves.1. Fountain (1917), Marcel Duchamp: A gifted artist can make almost any object meaningful. Take Duchamp’s Fountain, a white Bedfordshire model urinal he purchased in New York in 1917. Initially, there was debate as to whether it was actually art, as he submitted it to a Society of Independent Artists exhibit, which opted not to display it; however, in 2006, it was valued at $3.6 million. That same year, it was vandalized with a hammer by a 76-year-old performance artist, leaving it slightly chipped. The same man urinated in the piece 13 years earlier when it was on display in Nimes, France. The piece remains a hot target today.

2. Night Watch (1642), Rembrandt van Rijn: Night Watch could’ve used its own militia to watch over it through the years. Showcased at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the painting has been targeted on a few occasions. In 1911, an unemployed navy cook unsuccessfully attempted to cut it with a knife. In 1975, a schoolteacher more effectively slashed zigzag lines into it, and although the painting was restored, traces of the damage are still evident. The man was later determined to have a mental disorder and he subsequently committed suicide. In 1990, a man sprayed it with acid, but guards acted quickly and the painting was saved from destruction.

meer:

Ten Famous Works of Art that Are Forever Damaged by Carelessness, Negligence, Anger or Pure Insanity.

May 12th, 2011

Posted In: Uncategorized

Ten Famous Works of Art that Are Forever Damaged by Carelessness, Negligence, Anger or Pure Insanity

http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=47248

May 12, 2011
NEW YORK, NY.- The most impressive works of art often took months or even years to complete. Artists pour their knowledge, creativity and emotions into their projects. Their finished products are filled with meaning and thus personal importance, the value of which cannot be appropriately measured, at least until they sell to the highest bidder. The following famous works of art cost a lot of money, held a lot of significance to the art community, and were unfortunately damaged due to carelessness, negligence, anger or pure insanity, likely causing the creators great despair — or to roll over in their graves.1. Fountain (1917), Marcel Duchamp: A gifted artist can make almost any object meaningful. Take Duchamp’s Fountain, a white Bedfordshire model urinal he purchased in New York in 1917. Initially, there was debate as to whether it was actually art, as he submitted it to a Society of Independent Artists exhibit, which opted not to display it; however, in 2006, it was valued at $3.6 million. That same year, it was vandalized with a hammer by a 76-year-old performance artist, leaving it slightly chipped. The same man urinated in the piece 13 years earlier when it was on display in Nimes, France. The piece remains a hot target today.

2. Night Watch (1642), Rembrandt van Rijn: Night Watch could’ve used its own militia to watch over it through the years. Showcased at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the painting has been targeted on a few occasions. In 1911, an unemployed navy cook unsuccessfully attempted to cut it with a knife. In 1975, a schoolteacher more effectively slashed zigzag lines into it, and although the painting was restored, traces of the damage are still evident. The man was later determined to have a mental disorder and he subsequently committed suicide. In 1990, a man sprayed it with acid, but guards acted quickly and the painting was saved from destruction.

more:

Ten Famous Works of Art that Are Forever Damaged by Carelessness, Negligence, Anger or Pure Insanity.

May 12th, 2011

Posted In: Mailing list reports

The spate of recent incidents in which Chinese bidders have failed to pay for works of art bought at auction is forcing UK auctioneers to initiate new registration rules prior to sale, as I reported here a few days ago with regard to the forthcoming sale of Asian art at Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury.

When it transpires that the works in question were originally looted from China, the need for diligence seems even more acute, as evidenced by the forthcoming auction of important Chinese works of art at Duke’s in Dorchester on May 19 (catalogue online here):

(read full blog):

tomflynn: What future for families hoping to cash in on the treasures looted by their forebears?.

May 12th, 2011

Posted In: BLOG World (from related blogs)