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Art and Cultural Property CrimePatricia HelmsColorado State University GlobalCourse Code: 22FB-CRJ336-1Professor Lisa A. Hoston18 September 20221
Art and Cultural Property CrimeTheft of art is one of the numerous crimes in our day and age that damages not onlyproperty but also has a long history. Many cases of art theft, especially domestic theft, gounreported; many fakes and forgeries go undetected even after the offenders are identified. Theillegal trade in cultural artifacts taken from archaeological sites may now be beyond the reach oflaw enforcement. Crime in the form of art has developed from small-scale thefts to a globalproblem that requires more excellent prevention. The heritage of historically significant works ofart is unfortunately reduced to copies printed in modern times because only five to ten percent ofstolen works are ever recovered.Current Trends in Art TheftThe 2021 study from Interpol titledAssessing Crimes against Cultural Propertyidentifiesevolving criminal tendencies concerning art thefts. The research provides a bleak picture of howtight limitations implemented by governments worldwide in response to the COVID-19 outbreakhave continued unabatedly and occasionally worsened the theft of precious items of art andculturally significant artifacts. Recent travesties include the theft of a collection of masterpiecesfrom the 16th century from Oxford's Christ Church Picture Gallery and a Van Gogh originalfrom the Singer Laren museum in the Netherlands. According to Interpol (2020), lawenforcement organizations seized 854,742 pieces of cultural property, of which more than half(567,465) were found in Europe. Thieves are concentrating on robbing culturally significantitems from museums because it limits people's freedom of movement, making robbing privateresidences difficult. According to Catesi (2020), as countries implemented travel restrictions andother restrictive measures, criminals were forced to find different ways to steal, illegallyexcavate, and smuggle cultural property.

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