World's Most Dangerous Places to Own Art

If you have a piece of art you need taken off your hands, the best place to be is in the United Kingdom, according to a new report by the Art Loss Register (ALR). The industry group that tracks lost and stolen works has noted that more thefts occur in the U.K. than in any other country universally. The United States, runner-up on ALR’s list, had 21,079 pieces purloined since 1976, fewer than half of the 53,709 that the U.K. reported stolen. Rounding out the top five countries are France, Italy, and Germany respectively. In establishing their global rankings, however, the ALR only assessed lost property by quantity, not value—explaining why Norway, the country from which Edvard Munch’s infamous and precious The Scream was stolen in the last decade, did not make the cut. Iraq also experienced some hefty thefts in the past decade—more than 3,000 works have been reported missing since 2006 as opposed to less than 100 previously. The drastic shift is reportedly due to museum officials finally noting the works that had vanished during the 2003 United States invasion of their country and because reports were allegedly rarely filed under the rule of Saddam Hussein.