Museum Security Network

Argentina Bust Points to Lucrative Underworld Art, Artifacts Trade

Argentina’s authorities captured two separate contraband traders moving historic artifacts and stolen artworks across the Argentine-Uruguay border in a sign that the underworld art trade continues to thrive.

The suspects — who were captured by the Argentine customs agency (known by its acronym AFIP) in separate vehicles at a prominent border crossing — were moving ancient books, weapons, musical instruments and paintings, among other items, Clarin reported.

At least three of the books were printed by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th Century; the artwork was more recent and included items from the Lebanese artist Bibi Zogbe’s collection of paintings, La Nacion said.

Authorities believe the artifacts and art were headed to Europe via Montevideo, Clarin added.

InSight Crime Analysis

 

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