Sacred art is beautiful, evocative and, sadly, valuable on the international market. Where there is demand, supply is found and much of the world religious art is sensitive to theft and trafficking. While preventative measures such as alarms my help protect some sacred art and regular inventorying may help in recovering stolen pieces, only so much can be done. Furthermore, the protection of much of the world’s religious art is underfunded and the economic realities of the developing world make effective investigation of thefts unlikely.

Recent Articles

Los enemigos del patrimonio histórico (Europe; Spain)

(The enemies of historic heritage)

Ruiz, Aludena. (2017) Los enemigos del patrimonio histórico. El Diario. 13 March

Woman suspected of stealing painting, police say (Americas; United States of America)

Channel 3000. (2017) Woman suspected of stealing painting, police say. Channel 3000. 13 March

Ancient book stolen in Syria seized in Turkey (West and Central Asia; Turkey)

Hurriyet Daily News. (2017) Ancient book stolen in Syria seized in Turkey. Hurriyet Daily News. 8 March

Detenidas cuatro personas por robo de reliquia del museo de la Virgen del Valle (Americas; Venezuela)

(Four people arrested for theft of reliquary from the museum of the Virgen del Valle)

Ramírez, María Eugenia. (2017) Detenidas cuatro personas por robo de reliquia del museo de la Virgen del Valle. El Carabobeño. 7 March

Was ancient church at Santon Downham, near Thetford, targeted by nighthawks? (Europe; United Kingdom)

Bishop, Chris. (2017) Was ancient church at Santon Downham, near Thetford, targeted by nighthawks? Eastern Daily Press. 6 March

Antique smuggling racket: Key idol smuggler held in police raid (South and East Asia; India)

Yadav, Vijay Kumar. (2017) Antique smuggling racket: Key idol smuggler held in police raid. Mid-day. 4 March

Priceless 18th century icon seized in car trunk in Turkey’s Adana (West and Central Asia; Turkey; Syria)

Karacali, Fatih. (2017) Priceless 18th century icon seized in car trunk in Turkey's Adana. Hurriyet Daily News. 22 February

4 held with ancient Buddha idol (South and East Asia; Nepal)

The Kathmandu Post. (2017) 4 held with ancient Buddha idol. The Kathmandu Post. 16 February

Stolen Guercino found in Casablanca (Europe; Italy; Africa; Morocco)

ANSA. (2017) Stolen Guercino found in Casablanca. ANSA. 16 February

Vandals target display of multifaith artworks at Gloucester Cathedral (Europe; United Kingdom)

Thorpe, Vanessa. (2017) Vandals target display of multifaith artworks at Gloucester Cathedral. The Guardian. 12 February

Recent Posts

On the value of sacred arts in Slovakia (8th April 2015) (Europe; Slovakia)

by Barbora Brederova

Temple theft in Nepal: scratching the surface of a complex problem (15th December 2014) (South and East Asia; Nepal)

As I am in Nepal at the moment, literally tripping over sacred sites (which can't be great for my 'culturally sensitive' image), a quick post on temple looting here. Consider this the surface being scratched. The problem is complex. I'll be looking more into it in the future.

The Virgin of Copacabana has been robbed (29th November 2014) (Americas; Bolivia)

On Monday 22 of April 2014 the gold and silver accessories of the Virgin of Copacabana were robbed.