Information for the Aspiring Interior Designer in the United States
Harvey Manes MD
Introduction - Article by Harvey Manes MD - continued
Art theft involves an authentic work of art that
is stolen from the original owner and then sold or transferred to an unknowing
museum, dealer or collector. "With between 45,000 and 53,000 art thefts taking
place throughout the world every year it is no exaggeration to say that art theft
has reached "epidemic proportions." Sky rocketing art prices have made
theft very attractive to criminals. Art theft is estimated to be second only to
drug trafficking as the most profitable form of illegal trade. In the years between
1988-91, N.Y. art theft rate had more than tripled. Once the artwork is discovered
to be stolen, the courts must then decide whether the piece should be returned
to the original owner and who should be held responsible for the monetary loss.
Unfortunately the courts of different countries and states reach different conclusions.
The civil law nations (e.g. Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Mexico) favor
the GFP while the common law nations (e.g. U.S. Great Britain, Canada) favor the
original owner. The difference in the law between these nations facilitates "art
laundering." For example, because of the liberal laws, which favor the GFP,
Switzerland, is considered a haven for art theft.
Harvey Manes, M.D.
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