The theft of high-profile works of art is not new and recurs on a fairly regular basis. In 1994 two important paintings by J.M.W Turner (then valued at GBP24 million) were stolen from a public gallery in Frankfurt while on loan from the Tate in London. Sandy Nairne, who was then Director of Programmes at the Tate, became centrally involved in the pursuit of the pictures and in the negotiation for their return. In Art Theft and the Case of the Stolen Turners he relates for the first time this complex, cloak-and dagger story of the theft, the many efforts to regain the paintings and the final return of the pictures in 2002 to public display at the Tate. In addition to this story, Nairne examines other high-value art thefts, trying to resolve the puzzle of why thieves steal well-known works of art that cannot be sold, even on the black market.
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