The V.M. Art Gallery will be introducing for the first time in the country an online Lost Art registry service for local artists and art collectors, whereby they can register their stolen works of art on V.M. Art Gallery’s website. This service is based on the ALR (Art Loss Register) established in 1999 by the leading auction houses; Christies, Sotheby, Bonham and those from the insurance industry. The ALR have offices in New York, London and other European countries where they collaborate with the international law enforcement agencies for the recovery of stolen art around the world. The V.M.Art Gallery’s Lost Art registry shall provide a way to help combat art theft and forgery of Pakistani great masters and other well known artists. Over the past recent years a trend of forgeries and fraud in the small yet vibrant art scene of the country has deprived many local artists of the quality of work and ethics, it is a rising trend that one is observing and many incidents have taken place without any recovery or barely any investigations into the incidents even though some have made headline news. By registering images and details of any stolen paintings, sculptures or other art on the V.M. Art Gallery’s website “Lost Art” section, both the artist and collector can make the public and law enforcing agencies aware of the missing works and minimize the resale of stolen artwork or their movement abroad. This registration can be made for a nominal fee which shall be charged by the Gallery from the artist or collector. The image of the stolen artwork shall remain on the VM website till a time the work is recovered. It is important to note that the VM Art Gallery “Lost Art” registry is a public service to art and the gallery is not responsible, nor involved in any investigations on any artists or collectors behalf, for any recovery of stolen artworks; this is strictly for creating awareness and hopefully stop such fraudulent trends.
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