The origin of the ALR was The International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR), a not-for-profit organisation based in New York. In an attempt to deter international art theft, IFAR established an art theft archive in 1976 and began publishing the “Stolen Art Alert”.
The ALR was established in London in 1990. Its founding shareholders included major businesses from the insurance industry and art market. Satellite offices were subsequently opened in New York, Cologne, Amsterdam and Paris to cater to growing client bases in these countries. In January 2010 the ALR consolidated the regional offices in to one central, international office, run from London. The ALR retains staff fluent in French, German, English, Dutch, Spanish and Italian and continues to participate in art fairs, conferences and events around the world.