Stealing art, but very slowly

Tuesday 15th June, 2021 - Bruce Sterling

From, an Italian art theft committed in such slow motion that the statute of limitations has run out.

It’s particularly interesting that the works vanished and fakes were created to slowly replace them.


The Headlines

IN WHAT HAS TO BE ONE OF THE MOST PECULIAR ART HEISTS to come to light in recent memory, Italy’s public broadcaster, RAI, said that some 120 artworks have been stolen from its offices at various points over the past half-century, including prints by Modigliani, Monet, and other noted artists, the AFP reports. Officials apparently became aware of the issue earlier this year, when a painting supposedly by the Italian artist Ottone Rosai fell off the wall and was identified as a copy. Police found the man who swapped it in for the original in the ’70s, and he confessed to selling the vintage piece, but the statute of limitations has run out, the Guardian¬†reports. Authorities think most of the works were taken in the last 25 years by others. Fakes took the place of some while others vanished.