Art thieves beware…

May 23, 2023


Internationally art theft has increased significantly over the past 25 years and sadly it is estimated that only 10% of stolen art works are ever recovered. Since 2007, authorities in the USA have seized and returned an estimated 20,000 stolen art objects, and now the Federal Bureau of Investigations is hoping future efforts will be aided by its National Stolen Art File (NASF) app.

The app, which was released in April and is free to download, grants mobile access to the FBI’s database of stolen art. Primarily designed with law enforcement and art industry professionals in mind, anyone can now search for stolen property and submit tip-offs to the FBI.

The NSAF app includes 4,522 objects which can be filtered by 21 different categories such as drawings and watercolors, sculptures and tapestries, etc. Users can also search by location and description which includes an image and basic object information. In addition, the FBI’s art crime program has expanded in recent years with around two dozen specialist agents currently placed around the USA.