Art Theft: Most Famous Cases in History


 Art Theft: Most Famous Cases in History

Think of art theft as a kind of cultural kidnapping. Statistically, the most common targets are paintings. Since ancient times, these valuable items have been taken in broad daylight and under cover of night, and all sorts of ruses have been used to fool the guards.

Below we've compiled a list of some famous cases in history:

-In 1900 Fernande Olivier leaves Picasso's studio with "Woman Reading" hidden in her coat after she had posed for him throughout much of his career. Ten days later the painting was found abandoned near Porte d'Auteuil on a brush maker's stall where it had been given for safekeeping by its buyer to make room for new stock.

-In 1931 Johannes Gutenburg steals Romaine Brooks's sculpture "Shiva" from the Paris Museum and hides it for nearly four decades, until it is finally found by his son-in-law at his death in 1964. Gutenburg was a Jewish art restorer who perished in the holocaust, and Shiva was a gift to him from Romaine.

-In 1972 Claude Dalle finds "The Confrontation", one of Pablo Picasso's most famous paintings, under a bed while he is the guest of fellow artist Robert Delaunay. The work cannot be sold as its provenance does not meet stringent standards set by authorities and museums.

-In 1995 the painting "The Concert", by Vermeer, which was stolen in August 1973 is finally recovered. The thieves are arrested after a phone call is received by the Louvre announcing a ransom of $2 million for its return.

-The most recent case happened in December, 2013 when five paintings worth hundreds of millions of dollars were cut out of their frames at the Czartoryski Museum in Poland. Among the stolen works was an early Renaissance triptych and a Rembrandt self-portrait. The works have since been found and the case is still under investigation. [END OF ARTICLE]

Such crimes as these of course have no relation to what we do; but I hope that the art thieves' exploits listed here are, at least for a time, at least on the minds of our art thieves!

Having said all this, I remind you that by far the most significant reaction to my blog was to have a MANAGEMENT sit in a corner and contemplate life. Well, it's not too late . . . maybe he'd think twice about his degeneracy if he were confronted by some hooligan bent on pointing it out.

And what about the inevitable question: what's next? What are we going to do, how will we cope with the unknown? It's a question I asked myself when I first began writing 'The Thought Crimes' blog. As you will recall, I wrote:

"Here's where it gets interesting. The world is in a mess of trouble, but before we can devote our energies towards dealing with this crisis, there is probably going to be a major shift in consciousness. In other words, the men in power and their numbers don't want to see this through. They have no interest in impending changes if they cannot be held at bay or if they can be taken advantage of by their number one competitor.

Hence, I don't think we will have to wait long before they attempt a diversion. The longer the time that elapses the more difficult it will be to do so with minimal disruption and without being caught by those waiting for them to re-emerge.

I am sure you're aware what I'm alluding to but let me spell it out in case you're not: war." (See Post # 17)

I wrote that towards the end of February of this year. Now it has come to pass . . . though apparently not in the way I had anticipated: i.e., an armed conflict between nations; instead, a civil conflict within just one nation.

Conclusion? I suspect we're going to be faced with ongoing and relentless attacks against the nation's infrastructure. And do you realize what this means? Do you realize that this time there will be no return to previous patterns, no return to previous comforts, no return to business as usual, no return to old habits and vices; not only that but it also means we're being given a get-out-of-jail-free card . . . a golden opportunity . . . a gift of grace.

The world will be on our side now more than ever before (think about how much criticism President Obama's been getting for not doing enough). We have a clean slate.

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