Cambridge Fitzwilliam stolen jade 'lost for generations', expert says
Despite the passage of time, the museum remains hopeful of their return.
But an art expert believes the objects have been sold into China and could take generations to resurface.
A number of people were jailed for their roles in the Fitzwilliam robbery and other raids on museums and an auction house across the UK.
While items including a rhino head and Chinese artefacts were retrieved and returned, none of those from the Cambridge museum was ever found.
"Artwork is either recovered very quickly, or the thieves realise what they've got is radioactive, and it goes underground for a generation or more," Christopher Marinello, founder of Art Recovery International, said.
With the Fitzwilliam artefacts registered on a number of art databases including Interpol and Artive, any dealer exercising due diligence would realise the items are stolen "and that's how they might be located", he said.
Because the theft was so widely publicised, Mr Marinello believes the Fitzwilliam jade has "gone underground", most likely traded among criminals, perhaps for drugs or weapons.
While Cambridgeshire Police have confirmed the case is still open, the force is not looking for anyone else in connection with the theft.
The Fitzwilliam remains hopeful its jade will be found and returned, a spokeswoman said.
However, lawyer Mr Marinello, who specialises in recovering stolen artwork for museums, churches, insurance companies and private clients, thinks the museum could be waiting some time.
"I believe the Fitzwilliam jade has made its way to the top market for it in the world - and that's China," he said.
"I think they're in Chinese collections and until someone perhaps dies and the next generation decides to sell, I don't think we'll see them for quite a while."
£10,000 painting by J M Barclay stolen from home near East Linton
Police are appealing for witnesses following a housebreaking at an address near Kippielaw Farm, off Braeheads Loan, near East Linton.
The incident occurred between 5pm on Saturday, April 15, and 2.45pm on Monday, April 24.
Entry was forced to the property and several paintings, including a high-value oil painting, were taken.
The work, entitled 'The Piper to the 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane', by J M Barclay, dates from 1842 and is a 33” x 22” oil on canvas, valued in the region of £10,000.
Four of the other paintings taken were a black and gold Asian style design.
Local police are continuing with their enquiries and are asking anyone with information that may assist to come forward.
Community Inspector Andrew Hill from Haddington Police Station said: "Based upon the specific nature of the property taken it is likely that this is a targeted theft. A vehicle would have been involved.
"The paintings stolen are all originals and very distinctive.
"Crimes such as this are fortunately rare; however, apart from the financial loss to the owner, they also involve a loss of history and heritage.
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Lindauer paintings stolen in Auckland art heist 'radioactive'
Lindauer paintings stolen in Auckland art heist 'radioactive'
Chris Marinello from Art Recovery International in Italy said the two Gottfried Lindauer paintings snatched from International Art Centre in Parnell, Auckland, were now "radioactive" and no one would buy them.
Marinello, an expert who had seen more than $500 million of art recovered, said last weekend's ram-raid theft of the two paintings was amateur and opportunistic.
"This was not an elegant robbery. It was totally unsophisticated by people who thought they would be able to sell the paintings quickly," he said.
"The level of interest and the publicity in the theft means these paintings are now radioactive - no one in their right mind will touch them."
Marinello is based at Art Recovery International's office in Venice but the company also works out of the UK and United States.
He has helped recover more than $500m of stolen and looted artwork and helped in the recovery of art taken by Nazis in World War II.
Just last year Marinello negotiated the return of a priceless 16th-century carving stolen decades earlier from a historic church in London.
A film crew were working with Marinello as he worked through locating seven high-profile stolen works.
Marinello urged New Zealand authorities to register the Lindauer theft and details of the artworks on the Artive.org register.
He oversaw the development of the Artive.org database which is considered the most technologically advanced system in the identification of stolen art.
The paintings stolen in the Parnell ram-raid were both by Gottfried Lindauer in 1884 and were known as Chieftainess Ngatai - Raure and Chief Ngatai - Raure. They were about to be auctioned, and were estimated to be worth $1m together.
Czech-born Lindauer trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and migrated to New Zealand in 1874.
He became one of the most prolific and best-known painters of Maori subjects along with Charles Frederick Goldie.
Marinello said there was a possibility a ransom could be demanded for the paintings' return or they could be used to access drugs or weapons or as leverage in a "get out of jail free card".
He said the theft of the well-known paintings was unlikely to be an ordered grab.
If that was the case more care would have been taken, he said.
"We are not talking about stolen to order because of the way the smash and grab was done.
"My thought is it is common thugs looking to make quick cash."
Marinello said paintings in a window attracted smash and grab theft.
"It's the sparkle in the window - they take what they can and they are off."
He said the paintings could be recovered soon - or could take as long as a decade.
Most works were recovered, because it was harder to sell stolen art than it was to take it in the first place, he said.
"There is a bit of a black-market of course but they are offered for only about 5 per cent of their value."
Marinello said there was a market for the Lindauers overseas because they were attractive works of art and that was why the Artive.org register was so important.
If the pieces were recovered Marinello said their value would depend on damage done.
The high-profile theft of James Tissot's painting Still on Top saw it plummet in value.
The work was stolen from Auckland Art Gallery in one of New Zealand's most high-profile art heists. Ricardo Sannd, also known as Ricardo Romanov, walked into Auckland Art Gallery with a gun and cut the famous work from its frame in 1998.
The painting was found under Romanov's bed a week later but was so badly damaged tiny pieces of it were found on the gallery floor for weeks.
Although it will never be sold the painting went from an estimated $8m to an insured $2m.
Marinello said some works increased in value because the theft contributed to the story.
"There was a Picasso that was stolen and the theft increased the value because it added to the colour of the work's story.
"That is not usually the case though."
Many works were rolled up, treated badly and stored in conditions vastly different to the temperature controlled environments of museums and galleries.
"They are stored under beds, hidden away because they are that hard to sell," he said.
"I had a $6m painting handed to me in a garbage bag out the window of a Mercedes."
New Zealand art expert Penelope Jackson echoed Marinello's thoughts and concerns on the Lindauers' theft.
She said there was a lot of speculation as to motive but said until the culprits were caught it was largely an unknown.
"We just have to hope they are recovered unscathed because at 130 years old these two pieces are very vulnerable."
Jackson said talk that the gallery should not have had art in the window was a shame.
"It would be a sad thing if we got to the stage where galleries can't display art because there is a risk of theft.
"It's hard to entice people into an auction with blank walls."
Police put alerts on New Zealand boarders after the theft and Interpol was notified. Police continue to investigate.
STILL MISSINGMost art stolen within New Zealand has been recovered.
The most famous piece still "at large" is Psyche - a 1902 work by British artist Solomon Joseph Solomon.
In her book art thieves, fakers & fraudsters - the New Zealand author Penelope Jackson outlines the mystery of the 1942 theft.
Theories include an inside job and a phoney burglary to cover up damage done by a cleaner.
Hopes were raised in 1982 when a man came forward and said he had seen the life-size reclining nude painting in a Napier house.
It ended up being a similar painting by a Christchurch art student.
Later in the year the gallery received a Polaroid of what was thought to be Psyche.
The photo was later revealed to be a hoax with the clever confession:
Psyches sleep, Psyches awake
Some are real, some are fake
Masterpieces are seldom met,
Touch this one, the paint is still wet.
Other recovered high-profile pieces include the 1997 theft of Colin McCahon's Urewera mural stolen from a Department of Conservation visitor centre by Tuhoe activist Te Kaha. The work was returned 15 months later after negotiations.
In 1998 the $8m James Tissot oil painting - Still on Top - was stolen by career criminal Ricardo Sannd, also known as Ricardo Romanov.
Armed with a gun Sannd stole the painting, worth $8m, from Auckland Art Gallery. It was later found hidden under his bed.
Sannd was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison for the crime.
In 2005 the statue Pania of the Reef was stolen from the Napier foreshore. The motive was never known but Pania was discovered a month later and recovered by police. She was restored, then replaced.
The Mystery of the $2.5 Million Rare Book Heist
Daniel Pressland, 42, was aware of the value of Mr Davie's paintings and knew of weaknesses in the security at his home.
He pounced when the Scottish artist died aged 93 in 2014, carrying out a series of burglaries before being caught in the act with three paintings in his van.
READ MORE: World-famous artist's window cleaner accused of stealing art worth £500,000
He claimed he wanted to use the paintings, worth £90,000, as ramps to get his motorcross bike into his van.
Passing sentence at St Albans Crown Court yesterday (April 5), Judge John Plumstead described him as a "vulture".
He said: "You happened on an opportunity to get rich quick by stealing from someone who you had been worked for for years.
"You were like a vulture on a carcass and just helping yourself. You acted disgracefully."
Pressland had worked for Mr Davie, whose work had been displayed at the Tate Modern, since 2002, cleaning windows and doing odd jobs.
The judge said Pressland had committed the burglaries not realising the art gallery that acted on behalf of Mr Davie had a complete record of everything he had painted or drawn in his lifetime and would know what was missing.
During his trial, the jury heard that in all he took 31 paintings from the artist's home at Gamels Studio in Rush Green.
Sarah Morris, prosecuting, said the works totaled half a million pounds in value, but that £243,500 worth of art remained unrecovered.
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The last of Pressland's break-ins took place during the day on April 2, 2015, almost a year after the death of Mr Davie.
Neighbours of the painter, who had been admired by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and David Hockney, were concerned to see Pressland at the house and putting large canvases into the back of a van.
Police were alerted and were quickly on the scene and caught the window cleaner as he was driving away.
The jury was told that during an interview with the police Pressland told them he kept his ladders in the painter's garage and, having gone there to collect them, saw the three works of art which he assumed had been "put out there for the rubbish".
But yesterday (April 5) before passing sentence Judge Plumstead said it was quite possible Pressland had committed more break-ins at the home of Mr Davie using his knowledge of the faulty upstairs window to gain entry.
Pressland, of Outward Common, Billericay, was found guilty of burgling the home of the artist between April and August of 2014, when 11 paintings were stolen.
Fellow defendant Gavin Challis, 42, from Nazeing, was acquitted of possessing criminal property.
He said he had taken Pressland at face value when he had offered him two paintings for £5,000 and had no reason to believe he was buying criminal property. The Davie works found hanging in his home were worth £26,000.
Mr Davie was born in Grangemouth, Scotland and went to the Edinburgh College of Art in the late 1930s.
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Taxidermy burglar sentenced after recovery of van full of stuffed animalsA member of a gang which stole taxidermy from a well-known dealer a year ago, has been sentenced
All the items stolen, included two full African lion mounts, two infant zebras, a troop of baboons and a king penguin, were recovered.
Jason Robert Hopwood, 47, of Drummond Road, Romford, who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to his part in the burglary and fraudulent use of a registration plate, was sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, at Kingston Crown Court on April 4. He was also ordered to work 200 hours' community service.
The court heard how at around 19.30 on March 1, 2016, a burglary took place at the warehouse of London Taxidermy at the Wimbledon Stadium Business Centre.
An angle grinder was used to remove the padlocks and the doors forced open. CCTV footage suggests the van left the scene around 20 minutes later.
Valued at £100,000Dealer Alexis Turner told ATG he had lost a significant portion of his stock following the raid. However, many of the 27 stolen items with a value of close to £100,000 were immediately identifiable.
Press coverage of the unusual nature of the crime aided in the recovery.
DC Stuart Goss, from Wandsworth CID, said: "I would also like to thank the media, as I am sure reporting of our appeal forced the criminals to abandon the stolen goods. Cataloguing and exhibiting the stolen items was a truly unique and memorable experience”.
Acting on information three weeks after the incident, Essex Police found an abandoned van in the Stapleford Abbots area in Essex. False plates were believed to have been attached and inside were all of the stolen goods. Turner told ATG he received all of the items back within a month after forensic testing and his insurance company had paid out on loss of income.
Hopwood, identified as the owner of the van, is the only member of the gang to be prosecuted in relation to the theft. He was arrested on September 29 and charged on November 10.
Photos of Guercino painting, rolled up like a rug by thieves, reveal extent of damage
The painting, entitled Madonna with the Saints John the Evangelist and Gregory the Wonderworker (1639), was tracked to a suburb of Casablanca. It was recovered in February after the thieves tried to sell the picture for ten million dirham (around £800,000). According to the Italian newspaper Modena Today, one of the men arrested in connection with the theft told the police that the painting had been stored rolled up like a carpet, which likely contributed to its current condition.
The altarpiece was stolen from the Church of San Vincenzo in Modena in 2014. At the time of the theft, the art critic Vittorio Sgarbi described the picture as a monumental work that could be worth between €5m and €6m.