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1 Art Theft and Time Limits for Recovery: Do the Facts of the Crime Fit the Limits in Law?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the issue of the degree to which the facts of art theft, in particular the time it can take for the discovery and resolution of the theft, correspond to the time limitations found in the law when a victim attempts to recover that art. A consistent theme that runs through the various cases is that the time between a theft and any possible discovery and action by the victim of that theft. There are two major observations that can be made on the basis of what has been reviewed here. First, the accumulating data on art thefts indicates without question that often thefts of art are not solved within the common time limitations set in civil laws of many countries, especially those such as Australia that have a six-year limit. Second, a glaring oversight in social policy has emerged in countries such as Australia.

Keywords: art theft; Australia; civil laws; social policy



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