Bronze bells stolen from the Train Museum, in Rio de Janeiro (RJ)

were stolen, on 02 August, 16 bronze bells, members of the collection of the Train Museum, located in the neighborhood of Engenho de Dentro, in Rio de Janeiro (RJ). In addition to being the property of the Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (IPHAN), the assets are registered at the federal level, therefore, protected by law, so that its reception constitutes a crime subject to the penalties provided for.


The stolen bells have approx. 40 cm high, with the crown, and 30 cm diameter. Each weighs about 15kg in mass. (on average), made of copper alloy and without ornamental elements, reliefs or insignia.

Possibly of use in stations and railways for signaling, were manufactured in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

More information about the theft may be presented by the Federal Police after the conclusion of the police investigations that are under wraps.

Any information must be communicated to Iphan, by emails:, or, or by phone (61) 2024 6340/6342 (Brasilia) or (21) 96600-4798 or (21) 99033-3814 (Rio de Janeiro).

Safe purchase of art objects and antiques

Dealers and the general public should be aware of the provenance of the pieces they intend to purchase. Without proper care, there is a risk of acquiring, inadvertently, stolen or stolen parts. To contribute in combating this illegal market there are simple preventive actions, such as checking the origin and, in case of doubts or any suspicion, consulting the Iphan, the Brazilian Institute of Museums (IBRAM) and their databases available on their websites – the Database of Sought Goods/BCP and the Registry of Disappeared Musealized Assets/CBMD. Such care can avoid the involvement of the buyer or dealer in the Brazilian Cultural Heritage fencing of stolen crime, stolen or obtained by international trafficking in works of art - conduct described in Articles 155 of the Penal Code and 180 of Decree-Law no. 2.848, from 7 th December 1940 (dealing with the reception of stolen goods), and Art. 62, da Lei nº 9.605, from 12 February 1998 (which deals with destruction and/or deterioration of cultural property). 

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All art dealers and antiques, including auctioneers, must register with the National Register of Antiquities and Works of Art Dealers (CNART). The Registration protects the dealer inadvertently be involved in receiving stolen crimes and stolen and money laundering by means of works of art.

More info

National Register of Antiques and Works of Art Dealers E-mail:

Source: IPHAN Communications Advisory.


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