In South Africa, the galleries are concerned that bronze sculptures are being stolen for their copper value, according to the Washington Post, where a $16,000 art work gets sold for a quick $250:
At the Johannesburg Art Gallery, home to Picassos, van Goghs and Rodins, thieves stole a figure of a woman in mourning by South African master sculptor Sydney Kumalo. The Kumalo is one of a total of four bronzes taken in a robbery in January and another in September at the city-owned gallery.
A small bronze titled “A chair, a boat and a vase” by well-known South African sculptor Barend De Wet was wrenched from the facade of the national art museum in Cape Town in May.
“There’s a lot of very sophisticated (security) systems internationally that, unfortunately, we just can’t afford,” said Antoinette Murdoch, chief curator of the Johannesburg Art Gallery.
South African museums fear thieves are selling works of art for scrap as copper prices soar (Washington Post)