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2013  The New Yorker JULY 24, 2013

How to catch an art thief when the evidence has been torched

Stolen art is tough to get rid of. A collector doesn’t want to invest in a painting that will be turned over to the authorities. In the mid-nineties, outside Philadelphia, three crooks broke into the country home of William Penn and snagged around fifty artifacts; when the theft made the papers, they threw the art in plastic bags and dumped them into the Delaware River. Three years ago, five paintings were stolen from the Musée d’Art Moderne, in Paris, and the burglar decided to stash them in a dumpster. Just his luck: the bin was picked up by a trash compactor, which munched thoughtlessly on Picasso, Matisse, and Modigliani, with Braque and Léger for dessert.  ..

By Betsy Morais , JULY 24, 2013