An Examination of Art Theft
Posted: 14 Sep 2010 02:24 PM PDT
The following is the abstract from my dissertation titled “An Examination of Art Theft, Analysis of Relevant Statistics, and Insights into the Protection of Cultural Heritage”:
This paper qualifies and interprets art theft statistics provided by the London-based Art Loss Register (ALR) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) in order to quantify the problem of art theft and to assess the effectiveness of the most recent strategies that have been implemented to combat the illicit art trade. In addition to an in-depth examination of the ALR’s statistics for the first time by an academic, this paper provides an extensive historiographical background of the study of art theft. Through an analysis of the ALR’s statistics from 2000-2009, it underscores the connection between the complete documentation of cultural objects (i.e. photographic, material, measurements, location) and higher recovery rates. Furthermore, with the assistance of INTERPOL’s statistics gathered from its 2003-2008 annual polls, this paper identifies the best practices in the reduction of art theft and the illicit art trade.
Submitted on 14 September 2010 in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MA in Cultural Heritage Studies of University College London.