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9 An Inside Job? The Case of Robert Noortman

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Chapter Summary

This chapter, written by journalist Henk Schutten and criminologist Petrus van Duyne, presents two very interesting points. On one hand, there is the concept of white-collar crime; on the other, the usage of journalistic accounts serving as sources. The chapter discusses the way to overcome the difficulties of researching the secretive and closed environment of the art world. The case presented in this chapter about art dealer Robert Noortman is an example of what criminologists label white-collar crime. White-collar crime was not properly studied until 1940, when sociologist/ criminologist Edwin Sutherland published about the subject under the title "White-Collar Criminality" in a short article for journal American Sociological Review. Noortman had a vision of starting an art fair run by dealers, led by a collective ownership structure. The chapter concludes that until the London office closed, the Art Loss Register negotiated with the Noortman family and Sotheby's to no avail.

Keywords: art world; criminologists; Robert Noortman; white-collar crime



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