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The New Stolen-Art Tracker Opens Its Doors

On Monday, Art Recovery Group PLC — the brand-new competitor to Art Loss Register — opened its offices in Kensington, London, and announced an impressive line-up of staff members.

christopher-marinello-2-630x473x80-2ARG, you’ll recall, was founded last fall after ALR came under intensified scrutiny for its heavy-handed practices. The New York Times laid them all out in an article headlined Tracking Stolen Art, for Profit, and Blurring a Few Lines, published last Sept. 20. In it, Christopher A. Marinello, who was often ALR’s spokeman, said he was quitting and would start his own firm — that happened, with the founding of ARG, last October.

Now Marinello is really open for business. I couldn’t find a website, per se, but it does have a Facebook page entitled Art Recovery International. Among its new staff are Mark Maurice, Executive Director, a corporate/wealth manager who has worked with dealers and collectors  worldwide and “has dealt with a number of high profile restitution and cultural patrimony cases involving complex cross border disputes,” and Dorit Strauss, who has been in the fine art insurance industry for more than 30 years, once as Vice President and Worldwide Specialty Fine Art Manager at Chubb & Son.

Here’s the rest of the press release, including details of the types of work ARG (or ARI?) will do — like “Location and recovery services involving stolen, missing and looted works of art” and “dispute resolution services in cases of defective title, illegal export and unclear authenticity.”

This service, as we know, is sorely needed. Let’s hope it can compete with ALR — competition is good.


  1. Tom Freudenheim says

    But let’s not fool ourselves that these recovery efforts are about seeking some kind of justice. They are really about money and profit, which is why no one ever bothers with restitution efforts that involve works that may have been treasured by their owners but that have little or no current market value.

    • Mixed motives, perhaps — the people involved do have to earn a living.

    • Hey Tom Freudenheim,
      You could not be more wrong. Marinello has handled many Nazi looted art cases pro bono as well as art recovery cases for churches and cultural institutions. Check out the Matisse recovered for the Museum of Modern Art in Sweden or the Peter Turner Bust case for St. Olaves. Or Anto Carte painting for a Belgian family…
      A little research before your quick comment would have been fair.

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