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The Art Loss Register



View frequently asked questions and common solutions to problems with using this website.

For additional support on how to use this website please feel free to contact us.

Frequently asked questions about our website and services

Common technical problems and solutions

Is the ALR database open for anyone to search?

Anyone who presents with verifiable personal details and remits the appropriate search fee can instruct the ALR to carry out a search. The complexities of provenance with works of art necessitate that all searches are professionally investigated. In the event that the item is discovered to have been stolen we may make the details of those making the search available to law enforcement agencies.

What items qualify for the ALR database?

The range of items which can be registered on the database is huge, including paintings, drawings, sculpture, antiquities, furniture, jewellery, watches and clocks, musical instruments, silverware, coins and medals, ceramics, religious items, arms and armour, tapestries, classic cars, toys and collectibles. More critical for inclusion is the ability to register the item in such a way that it is uniquely identifiable, so that a future match can be made without contention. Please register with as much of the following as possible: good quality images, edition number, signatures, accurate measurements information on damages or restorations and where relevant serial numbers. 

How many recovery cases are being managed at one time?

This varies enormously, but around the world there are probably 150 cases active at any one time.  Some are in preliminary investigation, others in complex negotiation, others waiting for paintings to be sold and others in the final throes of litigation.

How long does the recovery process take?

Some items re-emerge in the market quickly via attempted public sales or police seizures. Other items take many years to reappear. For example, many items that were looted during the Second World War have only recently surfaced on the international market, some 60 years after the outbreak of hostilities. Victims have to be patient.

What happens to all the art, which is stolen?

One popular perception is that there is a “Mr Big” holding all these items. While this is probably a myth, many high value items are traded by a small number of international crime gangs as an easily transported currency. There is a black market where items are traded at a fraction of their open market value. In some cases, the costs and difficulties of legitimising a stolen item means that they are stored for years in bank vaults or under beds. Sadly some objects may be destroyed, like metal sculptures, which are melted down for their scrap value or artworks burnt by thieves, fearful of their discovery.  

How long does it take for the ALR to conduct a search?

Approximately 3 to 5 working days, unless you are notified that further information or further research is required.

How much does the ALR charge to process a search?

The ALR offers an annual subscription (£600, $800 or €700) for 25 searches, or you may pay for each search carried out at £70, $95 or €80 per search, plus where applicable VAT.

How do I subscribe to the ALR’s searching services?

When submitting the completed search form to the ALR, you will be given the opportunity to purchase a subscription, or to pay for individual searches.

How much does the ALR charge to process my registration?

Loss registrations are charged on a basis of £10, US$15 or €15 per item (plus VAT where applicable), but please contact us directly in case of a large theft.

I have a large collection I wish to register with the ALR, can I get a reduced fee?

Depending on the quality of information provided, the ALR may be able to arrange a reduced registration fee for large collections. Please contact us to discuss.

What payment methods are accepted?

We accept Visa, Visa Delta, Mastercard, Switch, Solo and American Express.

What currencies are accepted?

Sterling, US Dollars and Euros.


How do I save an incomplete registration/search so I can finish it later?

As you fill out a registration or search online, our website will save your progress automagically. You will notice an "autosaving" animation occasionally in the bottom right hand part of the website when it does this. Saved but not completed registrations or searches can be continued from your account page.

I am unable to upload or provide an image of an item?

Most likely this is due to the file size. We are unable to accept files larger than 10Mb via the website. We are unable to accept attachments by email larger than 25Mb via email. If your photo is larger than this, please consider reducing the size of the file or contacting us to arrange a workaround.

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