most famous cases of art theft

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Art crimes such as theft and burglarly will exist as long as there is art available and it is in high demand. In fact Interpol reports that art theft ranks as the third most profitable international criminal industry after arms and drugs smuggling. Art crime is a growing criminal enterprise which currently estimates to around $ 10 billion (£ 7 billion). One of the most recent and audacious cases took place just in Februrary 2008. Four works of art were stolen from E.G. Bührle Collection in Zurich. The paintings included works by some of the most renowned artists of the 19th century: Monet, van Gogh, Cézanne and Degas. The most outrageous factor in this robbery is the simplicity of it. Three men in ski masks walked in to the museum during broad daylight and grabbed four works of art, making it a robbery worth an estimated $163 million. This most recent art robbery is not the largest art theft in history, however it is probably the biggest in Europe as Marko Cortesi the spokesman for the Zurich police has put it. One of the issues with estimating the price for the stolen works is that these paintings are considered rare and “unsalable”. Thus a question arises why do people continue stealing art? What is the purpose? The media often portrays the myth of the order by a private collector. I think this concept has been engraved in our minds through movies like “Thomas Crown Affair”, “The Good Thief” and “Ocean’s 12”. However the team leader of the works of art unit at Interpol – Karl-Heinz Kind has said that such theories are “really considered to be a fiction” . The fact that the stolen art is “unsalable” and often very difficult to sell, in combination with the fact that there are no buyers lined to purchase the work is a benefit to recover those works. Moreover in many cases the thieves have a great difficulty in finding someone who would take the work of art.

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