Search for the World's Most Wanted Art

This is a journalistic inquiry by  Saz Productions, Inc. to acquire information for a  television  & new media production.  In the process we hope to publicize lost art and offer assistance towards its recovery.  Collectors, journalists, researchers, and others with questions or contributions e-mail

Archive: 2001 Updates

*December 2001- This month we've added an index of stolen art listings sorted by continent
.  As the list of stolen art web-sites builds, we hope this new feature is of some help to the geographically oriented reader.

*November 2001 - The 1997  theft of Renoir, Matisse, Valet, Jawlensky & Chagall, paintings
from Switzerland seems to have been solved.  Of the five paintings stolen, four have been located.  Only Chagall's "Bouc Mucicien" (1982) remains unaccounted for.  Elsewhere, in the world of art crime, an interesting exhibit on art forgery takes place in New Rochelle, NY.

As to this web-site, we've added links for an archive of ALR Art Crime columns
published  in Art & Antiques Magazine.  As always, we continue to update our extensive art theft links.  Other than that, on the television side of this operation, this month we are scheduled to appear on the Travel Channel.  The program concerns the world's most guarded places; our segment deals with the Louvre.

*October 2001 - This month we've updated many pages on our web site including stolen musical instruments
and stolen art listings on-line.

*September 2001 - Our condolences to all those who suffered a loss in the recent terrorist attacks.  Beyond the horrible loss of life (which make all this seem trivial) artworks by Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, and Joan Miro were destroyed in New York's World Trade Center disaster.

Elsewhere in the news cycle, looters hit an important archaeological site in Vergina Greece
.  Six marble figurines were stolen from the tomb of Queen Euridice; mother of Philip of Macedon and grandmother of Alexander the Great.  The haul consisted of three female figures and three sphinxes (each about 7" tall) hacked off Euridice's ornate throne.

*August 2001 - There was a major theft in Madrid this August 8th.  Thieves disappeared with valuable paintings including two Goyas, a Brueghel, and a Pissarro

As for this past month, some very expensive items were lost in transit.  Fifteen (15) pieces of art deco jewelry  (loaned by private collectors for an Erte exhibition in Rome) went missing.  When museum employees inspected the shipment, the crates arrived but the jewelry did not.  Elsewhere thieves struck an art transport company (Cologne Germany) taking a $625,000 Andy Warhol silkscreen "Lenin" (Blue 1987)

On the thwarted crime front, thieves who attempted to hit Oxfords Ashmolean Museum didn't fare so well.  Not only were they unable to break into a collection of gold and jeweled encrusted antique boxes, but they were also arrested following a high-speed car chase in south-west London.  There has to be a better way to make a living.

In other news, an investigation at Peru's Gold Museum suggests up to 85% of their 20,000 piece collection of artifacts are fakes.  Although a formal investigation has not taken place, the preliminary findings remind us of the problem of forgery, even in established collections.

*July 2001 - Well, June was quite an active month for art thieves.  A Rodin casting was stolen in London, a Chagall oil was stolen in Manhattan, a Rubens copy was taken from a Belgian museum and Ireland's Russborough house was robbed for the third time in 27 years. Paintings by Belloto and Gainsborough were taken in a three minute raid.  For further information via links see Major Thefts of 2001

On the corporate front, we wish to thank Android Data
  (Palatine, IL) for their help and support.  They are graciously providing server space as the new host of this web-site. 

*June 2001 - This month, we've revised many of our pages, providing more specific information about topics pertaining to the world of art theft

*May 2001 - We've moved. Same Chicago PO Box address, but a new telephone # 708 456-4837.  And as always we continue to update our extensive links

*April 2001 - This past month thieves struck the famous Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg Russia.  A painting by 19th century French artist Jean Leon Gerome (insured for a million dollars) was cut from its frame.  You can find information about this and other major art crimes on our page 2001's most wanted art

Antiquities thefts also made headlines this past month.  On the positive side six frescos,  stolen in 1985 from the archaeological site of Pompeii, were recovered in London.  Unfortunately, this past month also saw the announcement that 110 pieces of Pre-Columbian pottery were stolen from Texas Christian University. 

There are always additions and subtractions to the ledger of missing cultural property.  At least thieves and potential thieves are on notice that authorities do in fact keep track track of such crimes.  Even if it takes many years, these crimes are often solved.

*March 2001 - Cultural crimes are often small,  but at times they can be quite big.  The Taleban of Afghanistan recently oversaw the destruction of pre-Islamic artifacts through out their country.  We join with most of the civilized world in condemning these horrible crimes against cultural heritage.
see CNN

On the more specific topic of stolen art, Forbes Magazine
ran a fun little story on great art thefts, and we continue to update our comprehensive listings of stolen art web-sites.

*February 2001 - Hello to all attendees of this years NATPE.
  As with book publishing, an increasing number of video titles are being devoted to the art mystery genre.  We at Saz Productions believe that non-fiction programs relating to matters of art theft and forgery should be further developed.  If you would like to discuss these matters, please contact 11 time Chicago Emmy Award winning producer Harvey Moshman who is representing us in these matters.

Next, congratulations to Ton Cremers of the Museum Security Network
on receiving the US National Award for Excellence in Cultural Property Protection.

"During his past 4 years  Mr. Cremers conceived and developed the Museum Security Network -an Internet website and listserv which has outgrown all other national and world professional organizing and service efforts in the field of museum and library security. 

* The Museum Security Network continues to serve a limitless number of cultural
organizations and protection professionals in virtual time at the most minimum of cost. 

* The work of Museum Security Network encourages improved cultural protection and
prevents and solves crimes against cultural property. 

* Mr. Cremers' determination, personal investment and modesty in providing continuous
worldwide service are a model of professional excellence without equal today."

-Text from the eighth annual Burke award

As to solving art thefts, sometimes it just takes a little time.  An Andrew Wyeth painting "The Studio", stolen in 1967 from Sears Vincent Price Gallery, was recently recovered at Christi's auction house.  Then again, sometime it doesn't take so long.  Although the paintings have yet to be recovered, suspects in the recent Stockholm National Museum theft were arrested within weeks of their flamboyant crime.  Such are this month's doings on the art crime beat.

*January 2001 - The recent theft of a Rembrandt and two Renoirs from Stockholm's National Museum shocked the art world.  Armed robbery of a public museum is never a good thing.  Details of this and other crimes can be found at our listings of 2001's Most Wanted Art

Jonathan Sazonoff

Archive: 2000 UPDATES

Archive: 1999 UPDATES