chapter  12
13 Pages

Art Crime in North America

ByNoah Charney

This chapter discusses the extent of art crime in North America, as well as the efforts to curb it. It presents three case studies, two from the US and one from Canada, and summarizes the successes of the new art squads in both the United States and Canada. However while North America is a leading market territory for stolen and looted art and antiquities, with a significant portion of such goods smuggled to the United States or Canada for sale, neither country is a major source for stolen or looted objects. This is in part due to the shorter history of cultures that produce lasting plastic art of a high market value. As a source country for looted antiquities, taken in illicit archaeological excavations, North America might be considered along the lines of African nations, whose valuable plastic objects and ceramics aside, tend to be made of wood and therefore neither sustain burial nor survive in non-ideal conditions for centuries.