Source Pravda.Ru

A Cezanne and a Da Vinci among the missing in FBI's top art crimes

The FBI's newest most-wanted list includes a Cezanne, a &to=http://english.pravda.ru/culture/2002/08/13/34388.html' target=_blank>Da Vinci and a couple of Van Goghs.

The bureau unveiled its top 10 art crimes list Tuesday to call attention to a problem that Interpol ranks third among property crimes worldwide and costs an estimated $6 billion (Ђ5.1 billion) a year.

Art thefts can be especially frustrating to investigators because stolen masterworks often are kept hidden for years before thieves attempt to sell them, FBI officials said.

"The true art in art theft is selling the stolen art," said Eric B. Ives, who heads the Federal Bureau of Investigation's major theft unit.

Heading the list are 7,000 to 10,000 Iraqi antiquities that were stolen from the Iraq National Museum and archaeological sites after the U.S. invasion in 2003. A handful of cylindrical seals believed to be more than 4,500 years old have been recovered, but 5,000 remain missing.

It also includes the biggest art heist in history, the 1990 theft of an estimated $300 million (Ђ257.14 million) in paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Among the stolen art were three Rembrandts, a Vermeer, a Manet and five by Degas.

Investigators continue to receive leads about the paintings, but they have not confirmed an attempt to sell any in 15 years, said FBI Special Agent Geoffrey J. Kelly.

Last month, agents visited an antiques store in Reno, Nevada, after receiving a tip about the missing Vermeer. "It was just a copy, but a good copy," Kelly said.

Other thefts on the list are:

Munch's "The Scream" and "Madonna" from the Munch Museum in Oslo, 2004.

Benevenuto Cellini's salt cellar from Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum, 2003.

Caravaggio's "Nativity with San Lorenzo and San Francesco" from Palermo, 1969.

Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius violin from a New York apartment, 1995.

Two Van Gogh paintings from Amsterdam's Vincent Van Gogh Museum, 2002.

Cezanne's "View of Auvers-sur-Oise" from Oxford's Ashmolean Museum, 1999.

Da Vinci's "Madonna of the Yarnwinder" from Scotland's Drumlanrig Castle, 2003.

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