Art Theft: An Examination of Its Various Forms

  • Duncan Chappell
  • Kenneth Polk


The purpose of this chapter is to examine the problem of art theft. For the criminologist, studying this form of theft is a major problem for the simple reason that the necessary data are not available. We examine a large pool of thefts that are available mainly through media and scholarly accounts over the recent years. We describe as best as we can the various forms that art theft appears to take while dipping into this pool to find cases that seem to conform to the major social contexts we have identified. Such analysis is clearly exploratory, and only later investigations with more rigorous sampling strategies can verify if the patterns we have identified bear up under careful, and proper, examination.


Art theft Policing Victims Prosecutions 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duncan Chappell
    • 1
  • Kenneth Polk
    • 2
  1. 1.University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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