Historic Artifacts Returned to Polish Museum of America

August 29, 2012

An FBI Art Crime Team investigation helped recover about 120 stolen historic artifacts.

Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: An FBI Art Crime Team investigation helps recover about 120 stolen historic artifacts.

Luigi G. Mondini: The estimated value of the items that we recovered was $5 million, but the historical value can’t be measured.

Halpern: I’m Mollie Halpern of the FBI, and this is Gotcha. The artifacts, which date back as far as 1646, include maps, medals, and World War II memorabilia. Case agent Luigi Mondini says there were also…

Mondini: …letters written by this Polish general and Thomas Jefferson.

Halpern: Tenants of a house in Chicago discovered the items and sold some of them to a coin dealer. The dealer learned the artifacts belonged to the Polish Museum of America, or PMA, and sold them back to the museum. The FBI recovered additional artifacts and returned them to the PMA.

Mondini: Finally it was before their eyes and they could actually study it and have it seen by everybody who wants to.

Halpern: The investigation revealed that the house where the items were found once belonged to a PMA curator, but no charges were filed since the thief was not identified. This has been the FBI’s closed case of the week.

Audio Download