Anticipating Prosecution of the Gardner Heist

17 Canadian Crim. L. Rev. 47 (2013)

26 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2013 Last revised: 9 Sep 2013

Jennifer Anglim Kreder

Northern Kentucky University - Salmon P. Chase College of Law

Joseph Huber

Northern Kentucky University - Salmon P. Chase College of Law

Date Written: September 5, 2013

Abstract

A recent arrest has brought the already high profile 1990 art heist from the Gardner Museum back into the headlines. While the Gardner theft may catch headlines, art theft from museums is common and when a theft occurs it illuminates the patchwork of criminal laws inadequately equipped to deter these thefts or deal with them. This article first explores the facts of the Gardner theft and then applies the statutes potentially available to prosecutors. After a thorough review of the state law, here Massachusetts, the article analyzes the federal statutes that may be applicable. Specifically, the National Stolen Property Act has been applied to theft of artwork but was not designed for this purpose and may not provide adequate remedies. The Theft of Major Artwork (TOMA) statute was passed at least partially in response to the Gardner theft and fills some of the gaps in state and federal laws applied to the theft of artwork. The article concludes by analyzing how and when TOMA applies and provides a critique of potential challenges to TOMA as currently written.

Keywords: art theft, Gardner Museum, National Stolen Property Act, Theft of Major Artwork, TOMA

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Kreder, Jennifer Anglim and Huber, Joseph, Anticipating Prosecution of the Gardner Heist (September 5, 2013). 17 Canadian Crim. L. Rev. 47 (2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2321429

Jennifer Anglim Kreder (Contact Author)

Northern Kentucky University - Salmon P. Chase College of Law ( email )

Nunn Hall
Highland Heights, KY 41099
United States
859-572-5889 (Phone)
859-572-5342 (Fax)

Joseph Huber

Northern Kentucky University - Salmon P. Chase College of Law ( email )

Nunn Hall
Highland Heights, KY 41099
United States

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