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.
(The enemies of historic heritage)
Ruiz, Aludena. (2017) Los enemigos del patrimonio histórico. El Diario. 13 March
Channel 3000. (2017) Woman suspected of stealing painting, police say. Channel 3000. 13 March
Hurriyet Daily News. (2017) Ancient book stolen in Syria seized in Turkey. Hurriyet Daily News. 8 March
(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
Bishop, Chris. (2017) Was ancient church at Santon Downham, near Thetford, targeted by nighthawks? Eastern Daily Press. 6 March
Yadav, Vijay Kumar. (2017) Antique smuggling racket: Key idol smuggler held in police raid. Mid-day. 4 March
Karacali, Fatih. (2017) Priceless 18th century icon seized in car trunk in Turkey's Adana. Hurriyet Daily News. 22 February
The Kathmandu Post. (2017) 4 held with ancient Buddha idol. The Kathmandu Post. 16 February
ANSA. (2017) Stolen Guercino found in Casablanca. ANSA. 16 February
Thorpe, Vanessa. (2017) Vandals target display of multifaith artworks at Gloucester Cathedral. The Guardian. 12 February
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.