The new website, www.stolen-and-wanted.com, has been set up by Armand Torossian, the founder of the French public auction website www.interencheres.com, together with his brother, the auctioneer Gérard Torossian.
The Stolen and Wanted site aims to be international and is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.
The site is free to search, but registering stolen goods on the site is charged at a fixed rate, independent of the value of the stolen property. The cost varies with the chosen duration of the service – the standard rate is €300 for five years and the premium rate is €500 for an unlimited duration.
The site allows victims of theft to offer a reward at every step of the recovery process, whether for locating the work on the internet, locating it physically, arresting the thieves and/or the receivers of stolen goods, or for actually recovering the work.
The amount of these awards is entirely at the discretion of the theft victim.
The site also aims to identify stolen items by using bibliographic references, rather than just relying on detailed descriptions. The thinking is that works cannot be put up for sale without mentioning such references, so their publication on a website can greatly limit the possibility of a stolen work of art being resold.