Volume 16, No. 12

December 1995

Ten Important Art Thefts and Recoveries
Summary of art objects stolen and recovered through the 1995 year

DEA Operation Nets 3 Pictures
— Anna J. Kisluk
Proof is given to the suspicion that drug money is being laundered by buying and selling works of art. The Drug Enforcement Agency reveals details of an undercover operation that involved art used in a money-laundering scheme by the Colombian Cali drug cartel.

Dali—Double Trouble
— Constance Lowenthal
The U.S. government sold the last of 11,000 fake prints from the inventory of Center Art Galleries—Hawaii, with full disclosure that they were not made by the artist whose signature the works bear. The agency in charge will release the list of works to IFAR to help prevent the pieces from entering the illegal market.

NYPD Makes Arrests in Warehouse Theft of Works by Arbit Blatas
— Anna J. Kisluk
In January 1995, Arbit Blatas discovered over 200 works of art missing from his storage unit in Manhattan. The theft had occurred in March 1994 and covers every period of the artist’s career. Arrests have been made, although only a few works have been recovered (five Modern and Impressionist drawings) and the investigation continues.