Interpol launches app to track stolen art

The international police organisation’s ID-Art allows users to upload images of artworks, to check against a database of stolen pieces

Courtesy Interpol

Interpol has released the new ID-Art app which allows users to upload their photographs of artworks, which are then – through image-recognition software – checked against the force’s Stolen Works of Art data-base which details certified police information on 52,000 stolen artworks (matches are then sent to authorities).

According to Interpol, the pilot phase saw the identification of two stolen sculptures in Italy and two paintings in Amsterdam, involving the Carabinieri and the Dutch Art Crime Unit’s use of the app.

Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock said: ‘In recent years we’ve witnessed the unprecedented ransack by terrorists of the cultural heritage of countries arising from armed  conflict, organised looting and cultural cleansing […] This new tool is a significant step forward in enhancing the ability of police officers, cultural heritage professionals and the general public to protect our common heritage.’

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