Art for the Taking

About the Show

Art For the Taking
Thefts, fakes and frauds are flooding the art market. But finding them requires demanding detective work and exposing them can destroy careers, reputations - and bank accounts.

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.

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