Stolen, sold, and destroyed
Sacred art is alive: it is a major component of the identities of living people and communities. Theft of sacred art is theft from everyone. Destruction of sacred items is profoundly destabilizing. The theft, trafficking, and destruction of sacred art is a special subset of the larger study of the movement of illicit art and antiquities. It has its own unique causes and, perhaps, its own unique solutions.
The purpose of this site is to try to understand this phenomenon better by collecting information. Find here articles and papers about the theft and destruction of the art and architecture of the world’s religious traditions and documentation of efforts to protect these sites and items.
Will Jackson (2021). How many antiquities in Australian museums are stolen from our neighbours?. ABC Australia. 28 March.
Colombo Gazette (2021). Manhattan District Attorney returns 18th Century Buddha statues to Sri Lanka. Colombo Gazette. 27 March.
TNN (2021). Buddha idols stolen from Hazaribag recovered from Ranchi. The Times of India. 26 March.
Trujillo: criminals steal religious objects worth more than 10,000 soles
Javier Meregildo (2021). Trujillo: delincuentes roban objetos religiosos por más de 10.000 soles. La República. 26 March.
Jennifer Lu (2021). Two Thai artifacts in a San Francisco museum were stolen. Now, they're on their way home. Los Angeles Times. 26 March.