Friday, October 23, 2009

This is a stick up...hand over your Warhol!

The LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) has an impressive web site that contains many useful and informative features such as a blog, crime maps, community information, special bulletins, and crime reporting tools.

It also features something that is rather unique: a sub-section that is devoted to their “Art Theft Detail”; a unit of two detectives that are responsible for the investigation of all thefts and burglaries where Fine Art is the primary object of attack. The detail also investigates fakes, frauds, and forgeries involving art. It is the only full-time municipal law enforcement unit in the United States devoted to the investigation of art crimes.

The website boasts that the detail has recovered $77,563,992 in stolen art properties since 1993.

Here you will find crime alerts, a list of all current investigations, tips on fakes that are in circulation, and summaries of some really fascinating cases that are well worth reading. I really enjoyed It’s a Sad Day, Charlie Brown, a gripping tale of stolen animation art.

The list of stolen items includes ancient artifacts, fine art, collectibles, and even movie props! Virtually every major artist is represented.

I noticed this posting for a stolen Alexander Calder stabile, “Little Roxbury”:

Also this piece by Brad Howe, one of my favorite artists:

How does someone sneak off with a 96 inch tall sculpture mounted on a stainless steel pedestal?

I'll admit that I looked, but I didn’t see any of my mobiles listed there. I guess that you know you’ve made it as an artist when one of your works is listed on the LAPD’s Art Theft Detail. It's probably more likely that I'll be listed as a suspect on one of their crime bulletins someday...

It would be really cool if somehow all of these items could be recovered and then displayed together in a special museum collection!

link to: LAPD Art Theft Detail

I wonder what Sgt. Joe Friday would have thought about all this? Somehow, I don't think he would have been much of a Warhol fan...

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