October 16, 2012

Art heist in Rotterdam.

Stolen: Pablo Picasso’s 1971 “Harlequin Head”; Claude Monet’s 1901 “Waterloo Bridge, London” and “Charing Cross Bridge, London”; Henri Matisse’s 1919 “Reading Girl in White and Yellow”; Paul Gauguin’s 1898 “Girl in Front of Open Window”; Meyer de Haan’s “Self-Portrait,” around 1890, and Lucian Freud’s 2002 work “Woman with Eyes Closed.”
Marinello said the thieves have limited options available, such as seeking a ransom from the owners, the museum or the insurers. They could conceivably sell the paintings in the criminal market too, though any sale would likely be a small fraction of their potential auction value.
The problem selling these things is obviously not protection enough to keep thieves from bothering.



IN THE COMMENTS: chickelit said:
From the link: the idea that an unscrupulous private investor might have commissioned the works’ theft was far-fetched. 'That’s something that comes from Hollywood movies,' he said.

Should they blame a Hollywood video or lax security?

UPDATE: Confession of destruction.

19 comments:

chickelit said...

From the link: the idea that an unscrupulous private investor might have commissioned the works’ theft was far-fetched.
'That’s something that comes from Hollywood movies,' he said.


Should they blame a Hollywood video or lax security?

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Far-fetched is hardly impossible.

Actually, it makes the most sense.

The collector who wanted some goodies for his own little bungalow deep inside the volcano on SPECTRE Island or someplace.

Lem said...

Should they blame a Hollywood video or lax security?

Not so fast... there is an investigation going on... Your comment is highly irresponsible... you are shooting first and aiming later.

Methadras said...

These pieces will fetch a pretty penny on the underground art market. They've already left the country that's for sure. Most likely they will end up somewhere in Russia or China where no one will be able to get to them.

Chip S. said...

Hollywood Video went bankrupt a couple of years ago, IIRC, so that leaves lax security, which seems about right.

Security at lax is among the worst I've experienced. I'll blame it for pretty much anything that goes wrong.

Geoff Matthews said...

There are a couple of possibilities here:
Wealthy collectors from totalitarian regimes sponsored this (Russia, China, etc.). They're beyond the law, so why not?
Some professional thieves did this as a proof of concept. The art will be 'discovered' in a storage shed, but the thieves (think Danny Ocean) will use this to sell their services to people like the aforementioned collectors.

john said...

The paintings are undoubtedly on their way to Spain to have all traces of the theft removed through the expert hand of Mrs. Gemenez.

Nena's 99 Luftballons Song said...

They'll be fresh off the boat. Big news today. Thx Annie.

Lem said...

Chip S.

Mitch H. said...

What's an average bank heist net the thieves - less than six figures, IIRC. They don't need to clear more than a few percent off the auction price to make out like, well, bandits.

Erich said...

Two weeks from now the paintings will be recovered from the trunk of an abandoned car.

In the mean time, the forgers who commissioned the theft will be busy selling their multiple pre-made copies to wealthy businessmen to keep in their private studies. When the real paintings are recovered, each buyer will convince himself that he has the original, while the museum has the copy.

Incidentally, in the movie "Inception", the Valfierno hotel, where much of the action takes place, is a reference to Eduardo de Valfierno.

ricpic said...

john wins thread. Hilarious.

ricpic said...

Picasso: Harlequin Head, 1971. What was Picasso, like 90 in '71? And still painting harlequin heads to meet the rent on his castle.

R. Chatt said...

Pro's don't plan and execute a heist like that just to sit around and wonder what do we do with this stuff now?

Loved the movie, The Thomas Crown Affair. Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary

tim maguire said...

My vote goes with the "far fetched" option.

How many billionaires are there in the world today? Obviously there are dozens (at least) who would pay millions for a major work with little concern that it will live in a special room in their mansion, viewed only by a small number of envious friends who will themselves ( if they haven't already) steal a major art work to hang on their wall to make a small number of their friends envious.

And so on. And so on. And so on.

Astro said...

Just noting the demographics here. As of 8:23 PM EDT on 10/16 the story about the theft of valuable artworks from a Dutch museum has 16 comments.
A story about a lame-five-years-ago joke idea on a website the Dems set up regarding Romney's tax plan has 201 comments.

Eric said...

There's been such a huge increase in the market value of art museum security just hasn't kept pace. It think they're at least partly relying on the fact that a really famous painting will be almost impossible to sell.

So the security system is "state of the art", but they didn't have any guards on site. It takes the cops five minutes to get there after the alarm is tripped. If there were enough thieves they could have just ignored the alarm, smashed their way in and ran out before the five minutes were up.

ndspinelli said...

I bet they'll find these paintings @ a roadside stand w/ velvet Elvis and Dogs Playing Poker. That's where Barney Fife would look.