|The Art Loss Register|
The history of The Art Loss Register (ALR) goes back to 1976, when The International Foundation for Art Research in New York established the archive of lost collectibles and cultural property. Officially The ALR was registered in 1990 in London, and currently is considered the biggest database of claimed art and antique. In 2013 the database contained around 350 000 objects.
In comparison, the database of
- Scotland Yard contains 57 500 objects,
- Interpol has 40 000 objects,
- FBI 8 000 objects.
The ALR is a commercial organization; the shareholders are Julian Radcliffe – 68%( 2013) and the auction houses Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Bonhams.
The Art Recovery Group (ARG), a nonprofit organization, has been established by Christopher A. Marinello, who earlier worked at The ALR and held 10% of its shares. The ARG uses the same database as The ALR, however unlike The ALR, it provides an opportunity to choose any agent to deal with the return of an object.
The annual fee for The ALR is GBP 500, and it includes 25 searches; auction houses work according to different rates due to the time limitations combined with the quick check of the catalogues. The ARG claims GBP 60 per one search; tariff package is also available. Upon the completion of the search, The ALR provides a search certificate, while The ARG gives a full report about the search results.
Sources: The Art Newspaper, The New York Times, Antiques Trade Gazette