Combating the Ilicit Art Trade in the European Union: Europol’s Role in Recovering Stolen Artwork

Sultan, Jennifer | January 1, 1998

In order to provide a context for a discussion of how to effectively combat the art theft problem, Part II of this comment will examine the vari- ous incentives that encourage art theft. Parts I, IV, and V will explain the background and key provisions of two international conventions and one regional directive that address the problem of art theft in the EU. Part VI will analyze the strengths and shortcomings of the existing legal regime ac- cording to the two conventions and a directive. Part VII will discuss three mechanisms that have been somewhat successful in the recovery of stolen artwork and will examine the inadequacies of these mechanisms. Part VIII will propose and evaluate the potential role for Europol in combating art theft. This last section will explain that Europol offers a promising com- plement to existing mechanisms because it provides a cooperative law- enforcement approach that focuses on centralized communication and data transmission, the sharing of resources and expertise, and the coordination of investigations.