Art for the Taking

About the Show

The art world is mysterious, seductive and ripe for exploitation. It's a magnet for criminals looking to make big money from thefts and forgeries. Art crimes rake in $6 billion a year…from home invasions to museum heists to forgers passing off high-priced fakes. It's a crime that could be scripted in Hollywood but also one that destroys careers, reputations and bank accounts.

Web Extras

  • Topless women outside Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art protest for return of Henri Matisse painting.

    According to recent U.S. Justice Department statistics, art crime is an industry estimated at $6 billion — surpassed only by drug and gun trafficking trades.

  • A Remarkable Recovery  Friday, 14 Sep 2012 | 12:00 AM ET

    A $6 billion art crime market may encourage thieves to go for the big paydays - but stealing art is often easier than unloading art.

  • Scandal At the Lincoln Library  Friday, 14 Sep 2012 | 12:00 AM ET

    In 2011, James Cornelius, curator of the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois, hired Barry Bauman, an art conservator, to restore one of the most famous paintings in the state's collection - a portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the nation's 16th president, thought to have been painted in 1864. The restoration reveals a hundred year old scandal that rocks the State Capitol.

Contact Art for the Taking


  • Carl Quintanilla is an Emmy-winning reporter and co-anchor of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," broadcast live from the NYSE.