ON UNDERSTANDING THE BUSINESS OF ART AND ANTIQUE THEFT: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY

JOHN JOSEPH BARELLI, Fordham University

Abstract

The research that has been conducted on art and antique theft worldwide has been fragmented, sensationalized, and in the area of sociological and criminological theory, non existing.^ In my exploratory research study on art and antique theft, I was fortunate enough to develop an association with the New Scotland Yard, Arts and Antique Squad. With the assistance of this specialized police squad, I was able to: (1) analyze statistical data on art and antique theft. (2) analyze such aspects of the art and antique squad as; (organization, manpower, operation, training, investigation methods, computer system, classification of thefts, and case studies.)^ In addition, I was also able to develop a rapport with Art and Antique Squad detectives who were instrumental in the contacting of individual thieves. The interviews conducted with the thieves enabled me to verify certain statistical data and informational data that I obtained from the Arts and Antique Squad.^ The sociological theory of Robert Merton and Edwin Sutherland can explain how these art and antique thieves develop expertise in the area of theft, specifically, art and antique objects. The attraction is economics with thieves seeking to make money from their efforts. They rationalize by looking at what they do as a job. Due to upbringing and associations, thieves (art and antique) become what Merton would call innovators in our society. ^

Subject Area

Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

JOHN JOSEPH BARELLI, "ON UNDERSTANDING THE BUSINESS OF ART AND ANTIQUE THEFT: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY" (January 1, 1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8615718.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8615718

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