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Distributed for Unicorn Publishing Group

Lost Art

The Art Loss Register Casebook Volume One

A fascinating guide to the dark side of the global art market.

Valuable works of art are stolen or looted every year, yet many governments consider art theft a luxury problem. With limited oversight, what prevents thieves, looters, and organized criminal gangs from flooding the market with stolen art? How can victims of theft get justice? And what happens if the legal definition of a good title is at odds with what is morally right?

Enter the Art Loss Register, a private database dedicated to tracking down stolen artworks. Blocking the sale of disputed artworks creates a space for private resolutions—often amicable and sometimes entertainingly adversarial. This book presents ten cases from the Art Loss Register’s archive, showing how restitutions were negotiated, how priceless objects were retrieved from the economic underworld, and how thieves end up in court and behind bars. 

208 pages | 36 color plates | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4

Art: Art--General Studies

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"An engrossing case book for lovers of real detective stories. A great read." 

Federico Varese, author of Mafia Life

"A masterful tour through the hidden world of lost art. Through fascinating case studies, Shorrtland subtly and persuasively teaches important lessons about the role of institutions and economics." 

David Skarbek, author of The Puzzle of Prison Order

"Few markets are more glamorous—or more perilous—than the market for art. With billions of dollars transacted internationally and no shortage of crooks eager to grab their share, small armies would seem necessary to make the art market work. Yet remarkably, Shortland shows, its success owes mostly to private institutions, chief among them the Art Loss Register. Lost Art is a fabulous and fascinating investigation of the governance mechanisms that make the art market tick."

Peter Leeson, George Mason University

"A brilliant study about the private rules and regulations that help create trust in the market for fine art. Full of interesting examples and history, this book will be of interest to law and economics scholars and anyone interested in how art markets function. Highly recommended." 

Edward Peter Stringham, president, American Institute for Economic Research

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