Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “art theft”

FBI National Stolen Art Database

FBI National Stolen Art Database –https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/art-theft/national-stolen-art-file

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How would a character register something with the National Stolen Art File?
  • What are some abstract paintings known to be stolen?
  • What are some examples of 16th Century art known to be stolen?


If your story includes art turning up under suspicious circumstances, give this resource a try. The database can be searched by Type of object (Including book, crucifix, paintings, sculptures, tapestry and many more), title, maker, period, and “additional data.”

Search results sometimes have detailed descriptions. Records will contain the following fields: Description, Category, Maker, Materials, Measurements, Period and Additional Information. Not all fields will have information.

FBI Art Theft page

FBI Art Theft page –https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/art-theft/

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What are some cases of art theft?
  • What sorts of security measures are recommended for art objects?
  • Where can I find examples of stolen currency and coins?


Art thieves have been prominent in books, film and television. Aside from providing information on resources the FBI devotes to art crime, this page links to the top 10 open art thefts.

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