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While Main Street continues to hemorrhage jobs and Wall Street revives its ridiculous bonus system, the elite among us — most notably the trustees of the New Museum — will probably be very interested to know where they should stash their valuables during these sad times in case, well, in case … which brings me to one of my favorite topics: stolen art.
Turns out that the New York & UK-based Art Loss Register, the world’s largest private international database of lost and stolen art, compiles statistics based on the data they receive. These factoids, I can only assume, are designed to help you decide where you should stash your treasures and which artists to avoid. While most of us probably don’t need to worry if our Miro goes missing, it’s always interesting to find out where they tend to go missing from.
Top Countries with Stolen Works & # of Items Reported Stolen (via Artinfo)
- UK — 53,709
- USA — 21,079
- France — 15,562
- Italy — 15,041
- Germany — n/a
Artists that Thieves Love & # of Items in All Media Registered as Stolen (via ArtMarketMonitor)
- Pablo Picasso — 699
- Salvador Dali — 396
- Joan Miro — 390
- Marc Chagall — 361
- Albrecht Durer — 212
- Pierre-Auguste Renoir — 192
- Andy Warhol — 183
- Rembrandt van Rijn — 181
- Peter Paul Rubens — 147
- Henri Matisse — 138
Though Vermeer doesn’t make the list, there was a post this week on Art Theft Central listing the number of works by the Dutch master that have been stolen or looted. The number may only be eight works but, the blog reminds us, that accounts for 22% of Vermeer’s known lifetime output. “Is Vermeer most sought by thieves? Has such a large portion of any other artist’s catalogue been stolen or looted?” they ask.
The Art Loss Register has also provided a whole slew of interesting graphs regarding their data, including this pie chart, which indicates where most art was stolen from:
Also of interest:
- An interview with Chris Marinello, General Counsel of the Art Loss Register in New York, ArtMarketMonitor;
- “2008 in Review: Art Crimes of the Year” by Noah Charney, Artinfo; and
- “How to Steal a Painting” also by Charney for El Pais (in Spanish);