The I.M.F., Chef Mike - Art Felons

When the movement of illegal art is examined as a criminal market, it is apparent that it differs from markets for goods that are illegal to produce, such as counterfeit money or illegal drugs. To realize their full value, works of stolen art must move through some portal to the legitimate market—thus, the movement of illegal art often will have a half-illicit, half-licit character. Because there are relatively narrow portals to the secondary art market, a number of preventive steps can be taken to restrict the movement of illegal art. These might include increasing the efficiency of theft registers, increasing the size and reach of catalogs of the known works of established artists, and creating action committees among commercial dealers’ associations that can act when rumours begin to circulate about the presence of stolen works in the market.

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