Showing posts with label Belgium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Belgium. Show all posts

April 15, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016 - , 1 comment

Belgian Federal Police Eliminating its Art Crime Police Squad Due to Reported Budgetary Constraints


The Belgian Federal police have decided to eliminate its specialised art and antiques police unit, the Service vols organisés, Art et Antiquités, au sein de la Direction de la lutte contre la criminalité contre les biens (DJB) which has been dedicated to the fight against illicit trafficking in cultural property. 

The Brussels Judicial Police established its art crime unit, “the Bureau of Art and Antiques in 1988. After a reorganisation  in 2001 the team was integrated into the Federal Judicial Police at the national level under the name “Section ART”  At that time seven officers were assigned.  

In 2006 the specialised squad consisted of five active Belgian federal police inspectors.  In 2016 only two officers remained, one of whom is responsible for maintaining the Belgium’s ARTIST database which includes works of art stolen in Belgium.  At last count, this database contained some 20,000 object records. 

According to the Belgian Radio and Television of the French Community Service the specialised unit is being dismantled due to budgetary constraints.    Given that Belgium's International Trade in Works of art  topped €104.3 million in Imports and €63.1 million in exports in 2010 this decision is a blow to a major EU art market shareholder in their country's fight against illegal trafficking.



February 6, 2013

Belgian Police Searching for Snuffboxes Stolen from Residence before New Year's Eve

INTERPOL has issued an alert that Belgian Police are searching for 18th and 19th century snuffboxes and boxes stolen December 30 from a Namur residence in the south of Belgium (INTERPOL added 56 stolen items to its  Works of Art Database).

One of the snuffboxes (dated 1795-1797), pictured to the left, is made of gold, diamonds, and translucent blue enamel.  On the lid is a portrait of Napoleon painted on ivory.  It is signed 'AUGUSTIN'.  The jeweller is identified as Adrien Jean Maximilien Vachette, the French goldsmith.  The snuffbox is engraved with "No. 35.E", the same number handwritten on a sticker inside the case that bears the coat of arms of the emperor.

In September 1979, the Smithsonian Institute reported the theft of a $125,000 gold snuffbox, a gift from the Russian Empress Catherine the Great to one of her lovers, Prince Gregory Orlov.  Three years later, the FBI revealed that the gold box had been stripped of its diamonds and melted down.

August 17, 2012

Q&A with Thierry Lenain on "Monkey Painting" and "Art Forgery: the History of a Modern Obsession" in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of The Journal of Art Crime

Editor-in-Chief Noah Charney features "Q&A with Thierry Lenain" in the Spring/Summer issue of The Journal of Art Crime.
Thierry Lenain is a Belgian professor of art theory at Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is the author of Monkey Painting (Reaktion, 1997) which, as the title suggests, is about what happens when monkeys are given painting materials, and the recent Art Forgery: the History of a Modern Obsession (Reaktion, 2011). We chatted with Lenain, who also has an academic article published in this issue.
Noah Charney: What led you to write Art Forgery, when your previous research has been on other topics?
Thierry Lenain: There is indeed a link with my previous topics. If we leave out a book based on a PhD dissertation, pertaining to the question of play in Nietzsche’s philosophy, those topics all dealt with things whose inclusion in, or exclusion from, the category of artworks is problematic and an object of controversy. Such was, typically, the case of monkey painting. To most, the results of the graphic or painting plays of non-human primates have strictly nothing to do with art: only a misleading resemblance with action-painting could prompt someone to think otherwise, they say. But to others, those plays should indeed be regarded as reflecting the very pre-human roots of art and, in that measure, should certainly not be excluded from the category of art (this category rather must be extended so as to accommodate “animal art”). 
You may read the rest of this interview in The Journal of Art Crime by subscribing through ARCA's website.

February 23, 2011

The Journal of Art Crime: Noah Charney on "The Art We Must Protect: Top Ten Must-See Artworks in Belgium"

In the fourth issue of The Journal of Art Crime, ARCA founder Noah Charney writes about "The Art We Must Protect: Top Ten Must-See Artworks in Belgium."

Mr. Charney proves history and context for the following artworks: Jean Fouquet's "Madonna and Child" at the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Royal Museum of Fine Arts) in Antwerp; Hugo van der Goes' "Death of the Virgin" at the Groeninge Museum in Bruges; Jan van Eyck's "The Ghent Altarpiece" at the Sint Baafskathedraal (St. Bravo's Cathedral) in Ghent; Peter Paul Rubens' "The Raising of the Cross" at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal (Cathedral of Our Lady) in Antwerp; Hans Memling's "Shrine of St. Ursula" at the Memling Museum in Bruges; Hieronymous Bosch's "Christ Carrying the Cross" at the Ghent Museum of Art, MSK Ghent; the Palais Stoclet in Brussels designed by Josef Hoffman and Gustav Klimt; Rene Magritte's "Empire of Lights" and Jacques-Louis David's "Death of Marat" at the Royal Museum of Art in Brussels; and Paul Delvaux's "Nos Vieux Trams Buxellois" at the Bourse Metro Station in Brussels.

In his column on February 3, 2011, "The Secret History of Art" for ARTINFO, Noah Charney highlights Fouquet's "Madonna and Child".

To seek out this piece, and many others, consider a subscription to the Journal of Art Crime—the first peer-reviewed academic journal covering art and heritage crime. ARCA publishes two volumes annually in the Spring and Fall. Individual, Institutional, electronic and printed versions are all available, with subscriptions as low as 30 Euros. All proceeds go to ARCA's nonprofit research and education initiatives. Please see the publications page for more information.