Art is the embodiment of history, a sign of status, and materialistic in nature but accepted as priceless for its ability to provide an identity to nations and individuals. When art is stolen, it is culturally threatening to society, a problem for the criminal justice system, and a global threat to cultural identity. However, the best and worst practices and the obstacles and aids in art theft investigations and art retrievals are largely unknown.
Using an international sample of art theft investigators from both private and public agencies and academics who study art theft or cultural heritage protection, both the investigatory nuances and the challenges of art theft investigations and retrievals are revealed. Specifically, ten individuals from eight countries were interviewed. They identified knowledge of the art market and art world, networking and access to the art world, and the use of a variety of tools as best practices. Treating art theft cases like a typical theft hinders a successful art theft investigation. The lack of reliable statistics, financial support, and prioritization and outdated and contradictory laws around art theft are primary obstacles. Based on the sample’s insight, this thesis concludes that the development of universal legislation and art theft investigation training, and an increase in prioritization of art theft in law enforcement, governmental, and societal spheres can improve art theft investigations and retrievals.
Keywords: art theft, cultural heritage protection, art protection laws, art theft retrieval training, art crime, art theft investigations, art theft prevention, art theft prioritization.
|Commitee:||Malm, Aili, Vogel, Brenda|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 55/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Art crime, Art protection laws, Art theft, Art theft investigation, Art theft retrieval, Cultural heritage protection|
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