Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Art Stings Forced to the Middle East To Succeed !!!!

Three held in Iraqi art 'sting'

The bust of a Sumerian king is among eight stolen antiques recovered in an undercover operation by Iraqi police.

A local army commander said three men were arrested after trying to sell the pieces dating from the Sumerian period which ran from 2000 to 4000 BC.

Major General Abdul Amir al-Zaidi said the arrests were made south-west of Kirkuk.

It is not clear where the items came from but many treasures were looted from museums after the US-led invasion.

Major General al-Zaidi said the men were arrested after attempting to sell one of the artefacts for $160,000 (£98,000) to an undercover intelligence officer.

Fourth man

He said the sting operation took two weeks and was based on information gleaned from local residents.

"The duty of Iraqi army is not only to chase the terrorists but also to protect state treasures," he told reporters.

A fourth man is still being sought by police.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein's government in 2003, robbers stole valuable treasures from the National Museum in Baghdad and other institutions.

The museums held collections from the Assyrian, Sumerian and Babylonian cultures that covered 7,000 years of civilisation in ancient Mesopotamia.

Some items have been recovered but many are still missing.

Art Hostage Comments:

Law Enforcement sting operations are increasingly becoming a rarity in Europe and the U.S. because the Underworld have realised there is no mileage in attempting to hand back stolen art for reward or ransom.

Therefore it is only in countries lagging behind that allows Law Enforcement to successfully sting those in possession of stolen art and antiquities, whilst stolen art thieves and handlers in the West are much more aware of stings.

The conditions attached to any reward offer means unless the person with information becomes a Law Enforcement registered Informant the possibility of getting any money is remote to say the least.

The mysterious buyer of stolen art is almost always an undercover Police officer and history shows that there is a sting in tail of every stolen art recovery.

Those who try to pit themselves against Law Enforcement and end up with no reward, arrested and indicted, only have themselves to blame.

Those who offer proof of life and fail to follow through with a recovery, and then get themselves indicted for demonstrating control of the said stolen artwork also only have themselves to blame.

We can play the reward offer game all day and this panders to the public perception of huge reward payments, but those with control of, or access to, stolen art know full well the dangers in stepping forward.
Art Hostage has had enquires from Libya about the Gardner Art and also old Bernard Ternus continues to try and assist in the Gardner Art recovery.
More to follow..........................

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