December 17, 2005

Theft, in the very grand style.

Take this:



It's 11 feet long, weighs 2.1 "tonnes" and is worth $5.3 million. What are you going to do with it? Squirrel it away in some billionaire's atrium? Melt it down to hide your crime?

24 comments:

Ruth Anne Adams said...

"Gobsmacked"! I kinda like that word. Of course, it's no "crisps". But still.

Perhaps they could track it down from the trail of squism....Naw. That's nuts.

Dave said...

That's not art, and it's good that it has been taken away. Maybe the thieves have some common sense and will melt it down.

Ann Althouse said...

Ruth: I predicted "squism" would be written within the first 5 posts. Nice to see it make the first one.

Dave: As public sculpture goes, this is far down on the list of bad. This sort of thing, especially Henry Moore's sculpture in particular, was well-loved back in the day. I don't hate it, but I consider it sentimental.

Paul said...

Personally? I'd have it sleep with the fishes.

downtownlad said...

Hmm, let's see. Henry Moore is considered one of the greatest sculptors of all time. This is a significant piece of work.

But since Dave and Paul, who obviously know nothing about art, suddenly want to give their opinion on it - they have zero qualms with a masterpiece being stolen and then destroyed.

This just makes me sad.

chuck b. said...

We've had a few prominent multi-tonned statues go missing around here too. I guess they can't embed a GPS locator inside because how would a signal transmit through the metal. Still, it seems like a work-around shouldn't be that hard to find.

Dave said...

Yes, obviously, on the basis of a single comment I make about a piece of "art" I know nothing about art in general.

That's rather asinine, no?

chuck b. said...

No, Dave, DTL's comment seems apt to me.

Goatwhacker said...

Well, I don't know much about art either, but even I can see it's one of the best damn representations of a reclining pterodactyl ever fashioned.

Paul said...

Ohhhh. I didn't realize he is one of the best sculptors of all time.....well, then I must like it, musn't I?
Follow the leader,yes, I remember that game.

Internal Medicine Doctor said...

reminds me of a football, I don't know why.

Internal Medicine doctor

downtownlad said...

You don't have to like it Paul. But then again, you don't have to condone a criminal act either.

Just because you don't like something doesn't mean that you should encourage its destruction.

Paul said...

Understood, downtownlad but you don't have to take everything so serious either. Perhaps your love for this piece, maybe all art is that strong and I respect that.
As irreverent as I am, I will never be able to take the same view as another, nor will I check with anyone about what a proper comment might be.
I was enjoying myself. I'm sorry it offended you.

Ed said...

You have to admire the scale of the theft.

Any word on the whereabouts of Scott Adams at the time?

BrianOfAtlanta said...

Reminds me of a story I heard on NPR. This lady and her daughter were driving past an expensive piece of sculpture, recently acquired by the city, which the mother pointed out to her daughter. The daughter pondered the piece and then asked "Was it hit by a car?" The mother explained that no, it had not been hit by a car. The daughter pondered some more, then asked "By a train?"

I've since found that application of the "hit by a car" test has greatly improved my own appreciation of some metropolitan art.

downtownlad said...

I'm not offended by your comment Paul. Just shocked that others are not saddened by this act.

In all liklihood, this piece is gone forever. Destroyed by people who have disdain for modern art.

Steven Den Beste said...

I saw a news report that the police actually are afraid that it will be cut up and sold for scrap. 2.1 tons of bronze is worth quite a lot. Not millions of dollars, but not pennies, either.

Ann Althouse said...

I wonder if a mold for the thing exists. Wouldn't that be an ordinary safeguard? Can it not be recast? It's not as if Moore chiselled the thing into this shape. The original from which the stolen thing was cast no longer exists, right? What prevented multiple casts? With this thing outdoors and reachable by a truck, would they not have made a backup cast just in case?

Paul said...

Ann, that would be great but you immediately brought thoughts to my head of molds lying around in Iraq of Saddam, even the one our tank retriever pulled down on TV.
Still, why not even preserve those for History?

Steven Den Beste said...

Molds for sculptures like this are destroyed in the casting process.

Here's an article that says that the bronze in the statue is worth about £5,000.

Ann Althouse said...

Steven: Are you sure? Rodin bronzes exist in multiples. I tried to look up the casting techniques Moore used, and what I found wasn't that precise, but I think he changed his technique in later years for larger pieces. I know what the lost wax technique is and have actually made small sculptures this way, and I think for larger things in modern times the method isn't used. It does produce a one of a kind thing. But even then, you could make a mold from that first object and use it for recasting.

Steven Den Beste said...

Ann, no I am not sure.

chuck b. said...

Tyler Cowen posted on this story today w/ an idea about surety.

chxiao said...
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