UK police's art unit under threat

August 20 2017

Image of UK police's art unit under threat

Picture: via TAN

Alarming news that the London Metropolitan Police's art and antiques unit is under threat, after three detectives were transferred to the Grenfell Tower enquiry (the Tower burnt down in London earlier this year, leaving over 80 people dead). The unit was already small enough, but there are fears that the three staff might never be transferred back to art crime duties. More here from Martin Bailey in TAN.

Martin's piece tells us that the Metropolitan Police has something called the 'London Stolen Art Database', with details of 54,000 stolen items. But the website for this seems to no longer be functioning.

The lack of a worldwide, impartial, police-maintained database of stolen and looted art is one of the most serious challenges in the art world. Museums and the trade are forced instead to rely on private, for-profit enterprises like the Art Loss Register.

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