An anonymous UPI report shows thieves in the US stealing art treasures for scrap. Dozens of bronze scuptures by John T. Scott were stolen from a warehouse in eastern New Orleans.
(Hat tip: Art Law News).
More details are given in a Times-Picayune story by Doug MacCash, 'Famed sculptor falls prey to thieves'. A followup offers a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the thieeif (sic).
Photos of Scott's art are shown on the Arthur Roger Gallery web site, and there is a nice page on Scott at the Tradtional Fine Arts Organization site.
Ancient coin collectors sometimes argue that we shouldn't respect the export laws of countries which nationalized undiscovered antiquities. By buying coins we save them from the melting pot.
Even with our brick warehouses and honest police detectives art is being stolen and melted in the USA.
It wouldn't be ethical, for example, for a German to buy and keep Scott's hacked up sculptures to save them from the furnace. So the policy shouldn't be “It's always worthy to acquire smuggled goods to save them from the pot.”
Nationalized undiscovered coins are somehow different enough from named modern sculptures that different ethics should apply.
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