Whenever I think of art robbers, I always think of the classic vision of men dressed in all black with a black face mask climbing into a house through a window and running away with a huge painting. However, art theft is a serious subject and has always been on the rise. I always wondered, where does the art go? You would only steal something worth alot, and you certainly wouldn't put a stolen Picasso up in your living room. Unless, all of your friends are art robbers as well. The whole topic is saddening, especially when art theft occurs in museums. Not only is the museum robbed of its collection, but all of the individuals that enjoy the artworks when they visit are robbed as well.
So where is art theft on the rise? Funny you should ask because there is an industry group called The Art Loss Register that tracks reported stolen items and registers artworks to their owners. According to their reports, the U.K. is home to more thefts than any other country in the world. Since 1976, 53,709 works have been stolen in the UK. Rounding out the top five are the US, France, Italy and Germany.
These rankings are based solely on quality, not quantity. For example, Norway doesn't rank highly on the list, but Edvard Munch's The Scream is considered one of the decade's most expensive works stolen.
An interesting point made was the absence of many Asian countries from the list. ALR suggested this is do to the decision of art collectors and museums not to report thefts. Some museums are reluctant to report thefts as it may infer there are holes in their security systems.
Regardless of who ranks where, art theft has not slowed. So keep your enemies close, and your portraits even closer.