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Tag: art crime team

FBI Tracks down a 19th Century Painting Stolen by the Nazis During WWII

“Secret Departure of Ivan the Terrible Before the Oprichina,” via U.S. Attorney’s Office.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI tracked down an Ivan the Terrible painting that was stolen by the Nazis during World War II and returned the massive artwork to the Embassy of Ukraine.

The 19th century oil painting, titled “Secret Departure of Ivan the Terrible Before the Oprichina,” was looted from the Dnepropetrovsk Art Museum in Nazi-occupied Ukraine in 1941. More than 75 years later, the FBI’s Art Crime Team was tipped off that the Mikhail N. Panin painting was being prepared for auction.

The 64-square-foot painting was preserved and “admired” for decades in the Connecticut home of Gabby and David Tracy, who had no idea the artwork had been stolen, according to the FBI. In 1987, the couple came into possession of the painting when they bought the home in which artwork had been hung.

“The FBI is proud to work with our partners to mark this important art repatriation and return the painting to the Ukrainian Embassy. The FBI works to return stolen art and other property to preserve the history and culture of countries around the world,” Timothy M. Dunham, special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division, said in a news release. “Returning art to the proper owners is important and meaningful work made possible by our talented special agents and analysts.”

FBI Has Recovered At Least 2,650 Missing Pieces of Art And Artifacts Since 2004

This Charles Darwin letter was stole in the 1970s and was recently recovered.

This Charles Darwin letter was stole in the 1970s and was recently recovered.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has found at least 2,650 missing art pieces or historical artifacts since 2004, according to a review by News4 Washington. 

The bureau’s Art Crime Team, a specialized unit to combat art fraud and theft, recovered the pieces.

Agents recently found a stolen historic letter authored by Charles Darwin in 1870s. The letter was stolen from the Smithsonian Archives in Washington D.C. in the 1970s. It was recovered on May 26.

“It is an important part of our heritage,” FBI Special Agent Marc Hess said. “It may not be worth a lot monetarily, but it’s worth a lot to scholars.”

Other cases involve artifacts, paintings and other valuable works of art and history.

The FBI says art theft and fraud is on the rise.

FBI’s Art Crime Team Recovered Record Number of Stolen Items in Second Half of 2015

ArtCrimeTeamLogo1-300x280By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s Art Crime Team reported a record number of art and cultural items were returned to their rightful owners in the second half of the year, Courthouse News Service reports. 

The New York-based Art Crime Team was created in 2004 and currently has 16 agents assigned to it.

Since then, the team has recovered more than 2,650 art and cultural items with a value of more than $150 million.

The team has been especially successful in the second half of this year, recovering items such as a Chilean tapestry stolen from a house in Chile and the “Bark Washington” painting that was stolen in 2001.

The FBI compiles a Stolen Art Database.

Other Stories of Interest