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30 % of seized property returned
1/1/2003 is pleased to report that of the thousands of seized items held by Sussex Police, 30 % of the antiques have successfullly been returned to their original owners, many of whom recognised their belongings after searching the FindStolenArt online database.

FindStolenArt had featured the recovered items on this Website for over two years after close liason with the Sussex Police Force, everybody involved in this project is extremely proud of this success story.

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Silver stolen from King of Sweden
Museum Security Network
6/4/2001 3:37:00 PM

On the night between the 17th and 18th of May 2001 one of the King of Sweden's palaces was burgled.

The thieves broke in by breaking a window at Ulriksdals palace. They then carried on in to the Silver room were they broke several exhibition cases and plundered them of the objects.

Ten objects are now missing from the late King Gustaf V's private collection. The objects are several hundred year old and dates between 1575 and 1796.

Even though the alarm went of the thieves got away. The objects are irreplaceable and invaluable but will be very hard to sell for the thieves.

Among the stolen objects is a goblet from S:t Petersburg with a medal from Katharine II's coronation, urn made in England 1675, cup of gilded silver from Moscow 1744, an Italian box with the Swedish Queen Kristina's picture and a oval sugar bowl signed Andreas Röymand, Köpenhamn 1785.

The Swedish court encourage the public and dealers to be alert.

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Press Release
For several decades now art thieves have managed to get away, normally Scot free, with thousands of valuable and priceless items from both private and public collections.
Items that are often smuggled out of the country to unsuspecting buyers overseas who have been unable to check the authenticity of the item.
However all is about to change, hopes to put an end to this trade both overseas and here in the United Kingdom.
The site which can be accessed by anyone with access to the World Wide Web and is constantly updated by police forces throughout the United Kingdom and overseas who can rapidly download the picture and description of the missing piece and within seconds the full description is available world wide for any dealer/auction house or customs officer to see.
Millions of pounds are lost yearly in the United Kingdom alone due to theft and this is just the first stab in the fight back.
Now for the first time police and customs can have immediate access to the latest up to date sources of information at the touch of a button.
The site also records details of recovered items that may have been stolen previously.
It is hard to believe that this is the first time that an accessible site can be available world wide to anyone who needs it.
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The BBC recommend FindStolenArt
5/1/2002 12:19:49 AM
The BBC has featured in its Internet Homes Webguide. This is just one example of ever increasing recognition FindStolenArt has been recieving in recent months. The database is going from strength to strength with a steadily growing user base and improving success rates in the return of stolen antiques.
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Antiques Magazine
Coming home to find we’ve been burgled is one of our biggest nightmares.
Almost as worrying for the antiques dealer is being caught out by inadvertently handling stolen goods. This is, as always, a pretty hot topic in the trade at the moment, and any initiative that might help has to be welcomed.
At, you will find a new web site that lists details and pictures of stolen items. It also features information on recovered items.
The site, which is simple to use and easy to navigate, can be accessed by anyone with access to the world wide web and is monitored and updated by police forces.
With so much emphasis being placed on due diligence these days, nobody in the trade can afford to ignore the risks of inadvertently handling stolen property. It won’t take long to check items against this site, and it could prevent a lot of trouble.
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Neil Handley MA
Curator, British Optical Association Museum
2/16/2001 4:53:34 PM

Thank you for your continuing interest.

FindStolenArt was the only service that allowed us to publicise details of our lost items within hours of the event. Now we are aware of the site we could, concievably, report any future losses within minutes.

The benefit of a site like yours is of the essence, especially when there is a possibility of items leaving the country.
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Joe Furneaux-Gotch, DC 1432
Devon & Cornwall Constabulary
I would like to thank you and your colleagues at Find Stolen Art allowing access and use of your web site so freely. As the Antiques Liaison Officer for the Force and the Due Diligence Officer I have spent the last two years obtaining photographs from victims, via the officers dealing with the case. I have scanned these images and sent them on disk, in e-mails and in hard copy to various companies who may or may not use them. Often the reproduction was poor and I couldn’t even identify the item that I had scanned. On other occasions I heard and saw nothing of the images and didn’t even get my disks returned.
I now have access to a web site that I can manage my area of. Images can be uploaded as soon as I have received them. I can edit and update the files and immediately see the results. This means that I can now tell the officers dealing on the ground that the image is on the World Wide Web, the victims can be told of this and know we have done something positive they can see. I will also be utilising this medium when bringing to the attention of other Antiques Liaison and Due Diligence officers particular items of antiques.

Once again many thanks and keep up the good work.

Truly wishing you every success with the site.
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Elena Edwards
Camden Passage Antiques Dealers Association

Thank you for sending your details of your new site to our Association.
Just viewed your site, very nice, clear, clean, straight to the point and very accessible!
What a very good idea this site is !
All decent dealers are very concerned at present about stolen art and antiques.
Anything dealers can do to try to stop the illegal trade in art and antiques must be a priority at present.

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Due Diligence
1/29/2001 4:18:08 PM

CoPAT has launched two new voluntary codes to reduce the theft of art and heritage objects. The recently agreed codes of “due diligence” have been developed by CoPAT in partnership with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Norfolk Constabulary, and the Metropolitan Police Service. They recommend steps the art trade can take to ensure that dealers and auctioneers do not unwittingly buy or sell stolen objects.

Paul Boateng MP, Ken Williams of Norfolk Constabulary and ACPO, and Mark Dalrymple of CoPAT at the launch of the codes of due diligence

The launch was held on 2 March 1999 at the Museums and Galleries Commission, London. The event was attended Mr Paul Boateng MP, Minister of State at the Home Office; Ken Williams the Chief Constable of Norfolk, representing ACPO; and Mark Dalrymple, chairman of the Council for the Prevention of Art Theft (CoPAT).

The codes are the result of three years work by CoPAT with the wider co-operation of dealers, auctioneers, private collectors, lawyers, police officers, Customs and Excise and other government departments. Finalised in October 1998, they have already been adopted by, The British Antique Dealers’ Association, the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, the Library Association, the Rare Books Group and the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers.

They are also strongly supported by key heritage bodies, including English Heritage, the Museums and Galleries Commission, the National Trust (England and Scotland), and the Historic Houses Association.

ACPO has supported them by recommending that every police service in England and Wales should have an officer with responsibility for due diligence. Each force has now appointed a “due diligence officer”, responsible for liaison with the art trade and with other police intelligence and investigative resources at local, national, and international levels.

Welcoming the CoPAT codes on behalf of the Home Office, Mr Paul Boateng declared that they represented “a significant new initiative to tackle this area of crime and, as such, they deserve our support.” Mr Boateng also said that “The government recognises that arts and antiques crime is a significant problem, especially in monetary terms. According to insurance industry estimates, it exceeds £300 million per year.”

Mr Williams, speaking for ACPO, said that the “codes present a realistic opportunity to attack the theft of and dealing in stolen art at all levels from domestic burglary to museum and gallery thefts.”

CoPAT’s chairman, Mark Dalrymple, made the point that the codes will help auctioneers and dealers by protecting them from inadvertently buying or selling stolen objects, and assist the police by providing valuable intelligence and evidence against art thieves.”

The British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA) has welcomed the codes. Mark Dodgson, speaking for BADA, said: “The British Antique Dealers’ Association has been very pleased to contribute to the development of the codes and hopes that they will assist dealers to avoid unwittingly acquiring stolen goods. We are also pleased that the police have appointed officers to back up the codes, and look forward to hearing exactly what extra resources are to be allocated to preventing the circulation of stolen art and antiques.”

The codes have also been welcomed by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Tony Baker, the ABI’s Deputy Director General, said: “The Launch of these codes is a timely and much needed response to the serious problem of the theft of art and antiques. We believe they will help to reduce the current high levels of art and heritage theft, as well as protecting family heirlooms that are found in many homes throughout the country.”

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Council for the Prevention of Art Theft


In order to prevent the illicit trade in stolen art and antiques, CoPAT recommends that dealers endeavour to:

  1. Require a vendor to provide their name and address and to sign a form identifying the item for sale and confirming that it is the unencumbered property of the vendor and that they are authorised to sell it, and this form will be dated.
  2. Verify the identity and address of new vendors and record the details.
  3. Be suspicious of any item whose asking price does not equate to its market value.
  4. If there is reason to believe an item may be stolen:
    1. Attempt to retain the item while enquiries are made.
    2. Contact the officer with responsibility for art and antiques within the local police force area, or in an emergency dial 999.
    3. Check with relevant stolen property register(s).
    4. Pass to the police any information which may help to identify the person(s) in possession of such items.
    5. If still uncertain, refuse to buy, sell or value it.
  5. If requested, submit catalogues to the officer with responsibility for art and antiques within the local police force area.
  6. Look critically at any instance when requested to pay in cash and avoid doing so unless there is a strong and reputable reason to the contrary. In the absence of such a reason, pay by cheque or other method that provides an audit trail.
  7. Be aware of money laundering regulations.
  8. Appoint a senior member of staff to whom employees can report suspicious activities.
  9. Ensure that all staff are aware of their responsibilities in respect of the above.

This code has been drawn up with the co-operation of:

Antiquarian Booksellers' Association
British Antique Dealers' Association
Library Association
Rare Books Group
Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers
Royal Institution of Chartered Suveyors
Society of Fine Art Auctioneers
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