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Identification of Stolen Paintings Using Comparison of Various Marks

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 47 Issue: 3 Dated: May 2002 Pages: 633-637
Yaron Shor M.Sc.; Yehuda Novoselsky B.Sc.; Asne Klein M.Sc.; Doron J. Lurie Ph.D.; Joseph A. Levi M.Sc.; Asya Vinokurov M.Sc.; Nadav Levin M.Sc.
Date Published
5 pages
This article recounts a case of stolen paintings in which the authors used forensic methods to identify the paintings in question.
The article begins by recounting the theft of thirty-four 18th and 19th century paintings from Europe. An international investigation turned up the suspected stolen paintings in Israel. The authors explain how they determined the origin of the paintings through the use of photographs, stretchers, and frames provided by the original owners of the paintings. Two of the paintings were identified as the stolen paintings through a physical match. A third painting was identified through comparisons of depression marks made by seven nails that had affixed the painting to its original stretcher. A fourth painting was identified by comparing micro-topography marks of the photograph provided by the original owner to the painting itself. The authors conclude that innovative thinking is often key in solving mysteries that routine forensic methods may not uncover. 6 Figures, 3 references


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