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Friday, August 27, 2004

Art Theft and the Turn to Violence... 

The recent theft of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" by a gang of masked thieves at gunpoint during business hours from it's museum resting place was, I thought, an aberration (I had - as I imagined most had - always thought of art theft largely as a business most often conducted in the dark of night). In a recent article in Slate Marc Spiegler makes the case that the times are a changing (with respect to art theft): that the Munch theft was emblematic of a new movement in the art theft world towards armed, conducted during working hours, heists. He argues (although I suppose it would actually be difficult to produce any empirical data on this point) that better security measures during nonworking hours (e.g. extensive networks of motion/body heat detectors) have led theives to work during more risky daylight hours where they can actually be reasonably sure they can get the work.

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