Art Crime and its Perception by Citizens in Slovenia

Jure Škrbec,

Bojan Dobovšek


The characteristics of crimes which relate to works of art belong to a kind of “noble” tradition of organized crime, encompassing the high value and extensive “pedigrees” of the stolen objects and even larger incomes and profits from the criminal enterprises. Money gained from the sale of stolen works of art can be used, in addition, for other illegal purposes and actions. This article first analyses the current state of play in the field of art crimes in Slovenia, which has (in terms of protecting works of art as objects of crimes) adopted good legislation, but unfortunately the measures are not fully and properly implemented. Due to this state of affairs, the authors have carried out pilot research about  art crime in Slovenia – research which identifies and examines the problems surrounding art crime and people’s opinion about art culture in Slovenia. The results show that most respondents do not own or possess important and valuable works of art and art culture does not play a significant role in their life. They do not often go to museums, and do not feel any connections to any specific types of artwork, neither in Slovenia nor in the world. On the other hand, they would in any case be very affected if somebody stole their work of art from their home. Besides, respondents said that they would protect and secure works of art using combination of physical and technical measures (respondents have more trust in technical protection measures than in the human factor). The vast majority of respondents would not buy works of art on the black market.

Słowa kluczowe: art, national heritage, art crime, public opinion, Slovenia

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