Arthur Brand Is The “Indiana Jones Of Lost Art”

The Amsterdam-based detective helps museums find stolen paintings.

indiana jones
A Dutch man is being called the 'Indiana Jones of lost art" because he's helped to recover over $200 million in stolen or lost artifacts, sculptures and artwork. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
Corbis via Getty Images

Arthur Brand is known as the Indiana Jones of lost art thanks to his efforts to return stolen paintings and sculptures to their rightful owners including individuals, museums and even for governments around the world.

Brand says his company works on several types of cases regarding rare works of art.

“What I do with my company is we advise collectors to prevent them from buying forgeries,” Brand told The Independent. “That’s about 70 per cent of my work. The rest of the time we work with Jewish families to recover works from their collections stolen by the Nazis. But a small part of our work is recoveries of thefts, and these are the things that hit the headlines, these huge cases.”

Brand helped recover two limestone Visigoth reliefs that were stolen in 2004 from Maria fel Lara Church in Spain.

According to CBC Radio, Brand’s organization over $200 million in stolen paintings, artifacts, and sculptures have been returned, including a famous Salvador Dalí painting from 1941.

Like Indiana Jones, Brand has found himself negotiating with disreputable organizations. Brand says only about 5% of stolen works of art are recovered and that 30% of pieces sold through the mainstream art market are actually fakes.

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