Saturday, March 20, 2010

Interview with Art Detective

The Boston Globe published a very interesting interview with former Scotland Yard detective Charles Hill, who has combated art crime for decades and has retrieved "a museum's worth" of stolen art during his career. Hill discusses the motivations for art theft but stresses the difficulty to resell stolen art. The Gardner art heist occurred 20 years ago this week, but Hill is confident that the works will resurface.

Have you ever wondered if there is a real life Thomas Crown out there? Hill says the world of art crime isn't as glamorous as the movies suggest. He says,
There’s no Doctor No, there’s no Mr. Big. It’s great fun to think about a painting going to some guy’s subterranean cavern. I’ve only met one fellow who could remotely fit that bill, and he was a collector of antiquities and lives outside Switzerland.
I wish I had a name -- I'd love to learn more about him!


  1. This man is so interesting! Even though he tries to downplay the drama of what he does, the career of a detective is so glamourous to me. And a detective searching for stolen art? Even better.

  2. Well done blog, very interesting stuff (like my favorite author Thomas Hoving)!

    Keep on posting!!!!