Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Art Worlds G-Men!

FBI on Art?
Hi all,
Now, hands up those of us whose perception of the FBI may have been well, slightly coloured by the novels of Thomas Harris? (C’mon you know, Hannibal Lecter/ Clarice Starling etc) OK, stereotypes aside, what else does your average Federal Agent do when not embroiled in cat and mouse duels with serial killers? Well it appears they invest a fairly impressive amount of time and money into tracking down multi-million dollar art crimes.

Welcome to the Bureaus Art Theft Program (established in 2004) dedicated to the prevention of ‘Art and cultural property crime’ which has so far recovered artworks, including a Rembrandt self portrait, in excess of $65 million! (Nice going boys!) However, with estimated losses running as high as $6 billion annually it seems those gallant G-Men have quite some way to go yet. (Better start putting in for overtime fellas!)

Joking aside, this really is an interesting site. There’s plenty of links taking you to all over the FBI’s main site, their labs as well as contacts with Interpol. There are also lists of investigations into ongoing crimes such as the 2002, $30 million theft of two Van Gogh paintings from the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam. Apparently in a really ‘ingenious’ plan two thieves used a ladder to climb to the roof and simply break in! Yeah, I guess that was some top score security the Dutch had going there. Jesus, so what happened to all that ‘Thomas Crown’ stuff any self respecting art thief has to go through!

So, if art crime’s your thing then spend a little time with art’s G-Men at the Bureaus Art Theft Program

Catch you later