International database of stolen ancient art

Built on a museum-quality database, each object record carries three sizes of photo, resized automatically according to its use. More importantly, any number of detailed photos can be added to each record. By combining full screen size images and data, positive identification of stolen objects can be made from this site – a breakthrough for recovery. Its available to all with no restrictions. Clicking on practically everything will lead you to different views and object details.

With a background in the Conservation and Restoration world, we believe modern technology can help prevent the loss of cultural objects using the mass media of photography.

If you’ve been the victim of theft and want your valuables or possessions back, let us broadcast pictures and details of the articles to a worldwide audience over the Internet. We would encourage all dealers, trade specialists, recovery agents and Authorities to use this free searching facility to identify stolen art and artefacts. Close-up photographs and background data on the site will enable clear identification and aid quick recovery. Due diligence searches by the trade are now easy and free.

With the next generation of phones that can access the internet and display images, anyone at auction or car-boot sale will be able to use this site to identify stolen goods.

There are in excess of 20,000 categories of objects listed, so whether you’ve lost jewellery, paintings, furniture, ceramics, musical instruments or silver, the details your stolen article will be easily found. (Browse through the Index Tree).

Unlike some sites, IASA-Online is completely free to search. It’s in everyone’s interest that the maximum number of people are looking for your valuables.

You can even build and save your own password-protected collection of our records online, for your own use or to be shared.

Our only charge is for the permanent display and recording on the website of each article stolen, whether reported by the Authorities or the public.

So if, for instance, you want an auction house in America or the Continent to help look for and find your stolen artworks or valuables, send us photographs and details and let us post them to this website. If you don’t have photographs, please refer to our other sites, and which complete and form The Diva System for protecting your valuables.

With crime ever present and much more targeted, it might seem that the criminals are winning. You can now fight back against the international trade in stolen works of art for the price of an advert in your local paper.

Details and information about the Indian sword

The sword was purchased in Jaipur in 1994, while I was travelling through India on the way to Kathmandu. I was unable to take it out of Nepal, and it has been kept there for ten years. After several years’ study in the area of history and heritage issues, I decided that my sword should be taken back to Jaipur, to be put in a museum for the benefit of all. Logistics and beaurocracy prevented me from doing this however, and the sword is still sitting in Kathmandu. An interesting story emerges as to why I was unable to do anything constructive with my sword, despite good intentions, contacts and considerable research and preparation.

Mrs Faith Singh of the Jaipur Virasat Foundation discusses my sword in the context of the problems facing cultural heritage management in Jaipur, the lack of good museum management and resources, and consequently what I should consider doing with my sword. Click here to listen to this conversation.

I met a history scholar in Jaipur, Mr Sinjhi, who told me all about my sword. Click here to listen to this part of my conversation with him, and click here to go to his interview page.

Nepal and India (2003)

In October and November 2003, I visited Nepal and India in an attempt to repatriate my antique Indian sword, which I bought in Jaipur in 1993, while backpacking across the Middle East, en route to Kathmandu.

My intention when I bought the sword was to take it home to England on a flight out of Kathmandu. However, due to political turmoil and rigorous checks at customs it was impossible to take the sword out of Nepal. I therefore had to leave it with family friends in Kathmandu who very kindly offered look after it, and with whom it has remained ever since.

I therefore decided to go back to Nepal in 2003, after a gap of ten years, to locate the sword, and attempt to take it back to Jaipur. After a degree and subsequent MA in ancient history and heritage preservation, I wanted the sword to be donated to a museum or other foundation in its place of origin so it could be studied, put on display, and properly looked after. I knew this would be a daunting task, and put six months into planning my trip to repatriate my sword – but was I successful?

Along the course of the journey I met and interviewed many leading figures from political, academic, and cultural heritage organisations.