Art and Crime
Exploring the Dark Side of the Art World
Edited by Noah Charney Afterword by John Stubbs
May 2009, 261pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-36635-2
$65, £50, 57€, A90
eBook Available: 978-0-313-36636-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

This book examines the world of art crime in its many manifestations and considers the consequences of these crimes.

Through the use of case examples and careful examination, this book presents the first interdisciplinary essay collection on the study of art crime, and its effect on all aspects of the art world. Contributors discuss art crime subcategories, including vandalism, iconoclasm, forgery, fraud, peace-time theft, war looting, archaeological looting, smuggling, submarine looting, and ransom. The contributors offer insightful analyses coupled with specific practical suggestions to implement in the future to prevent and address art crime. This work is of critical importance to anyone involved in the art world, its trade, study, and security.

Art crime has received relatively little attention from those who study art to those who prosecute crimes. Indeed, the general public is not well-aware of the various forms of art crime and its impact on society at large, to say nothing of museums, history, and cultural affairs. And yet it involves a multi-billion dollar legitimate industry, with a conservatively-estimated $6 billion annual criminal profit. Information about and analysis of art crime is critical to the wide variety of fields involved in the art trade and art preservation, from museums to academia, from auction houses to galleries, from insurance to art law, from policing to security. Since the Second World War, art crime has evolved from a relatively innocuous crime, into the third highest-grossing annual criminal trade worldwide, run primarily by organized crime syndicates, and therefore funding their other enterprises, from the drug and arms trades to terrorism. It is no longer merely the art that is at stake.


"Though mostly out of public view, art crime is a very lucrative global business. In introducing this collection of 20 essays by international interdisciplinary experts, Charney (Association for Research into Crimes Against Art) situates 'the quiet crime' in the contexts of organized crime, terrorist groups, and the need for better policing policies. Via case studies and interviews, he addresses disputes over ownership of cultural heritage and wartime plundered art, authenticity, and museum security. The volume includes statistics, reflections on why masterpieces matter, and art images."—Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2009

"...a compelling collection that interrogates the evolution of art crime from the modern period to the present... Recommended. Lower and upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, general readers."—Choice, December 1, 2009

"A well-edited, useful, readable and (sadly) very much necessary collection."—PhiloBiblos,, November 30, 2009
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.