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(BBC)   Investigators discover cache of 1,500 stolen paintings in Munich worth over $1 billion. Now we'll all be rich -- rich as Nazis   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 52
    More: Cool, Nazis, Munich, Germans, art dealer, art collectors, Matisse, news magazine, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum  
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3209 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 03 Nov 2013 at 6:15 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-03 03:48:16 PM  
Can we turn their tax cops loose on Wall Street?
 
2013-11-03 04:05:22 PM  
i53.photobucket.com

Wanted for questioning.
 
2013-11-03 04:05:22 PM  
  images.wikia.com
 
2013-11-03 04:38:42 PM  
commandpluszed.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-11-03 04:45:01 PM  
img2.tvtome.com
 
2013-11-03 05:03:37 PM  
Kraftwerk approves
 
2013-11-03 06:17:39 PM  
Vergoldet Windeln !
 
2013-11-03 06:30:46 PM  

dustman81: [images.wikia.com image 384x288]


Ja ja ja, mach schnell mit der art things, huh? I must get back to Dancecentrum in Struttgart in time to see Kraftwerk.
 
2013-11-03 06:31:52 PM  

ArkAngel: Kraftwerk approves


Dammit. I knew taking the time to look up the quote would mean someone would beat me to it.
 
2013-11-03 06:32:40 PM  

"The Nazis categorised almost all modern art as "degenerate". It was banned for being un-German or for being the work of Jewish artists."


Which makes me surprised that the Nazis didn't burn it all. I know they sold some of it cheaply, but if they hated it so much as work of the Jews, why let any of it spread?

 
2013-11-03 06:39:37 PM  
Touch my Matisse.
Touch him NOW!
 
2013-11-03 06:43:40 PM  
Well that's some pretty nice publicity for this movie opening soon.
 
2013-11-03 06:45:46 PM  

skinink: "The Nazis categorised almost all modern art as "degenerate". It was banned for being un-German or for being the work of Jewish artists."
Which makes me surprised that the Nazis didn't burn it all. I know they sold some of it cheaply, but if they hated it so much as work of the Jews, why let any of it spread?


They needed the cash.  Badly.  They sold Impressionists and stuff like Picassos, things that had ready value for pretty close to what they were worth, which wasn't a whole lot back then.  But they also sold non-Aryian paintings out of German museums for huge sums of money.  There are a couple of very good Raphaels in the National Gallery in Washhington, DC that used to blong to German museums.
 
2013-11-03 06:46:56 PM  

FrancoFile: Well that's some pretty nice publicity for this movie opening soon.


Thanks for the heads up that actually looks good.
 
2013-11-03 06:50:45 PM  

FrancoFile: Well that's some pretty nice publicity for this movie opening soon.


Huh.  Hadn't head about that.  There was a really good documentary on them a couple years ago, and I always thought they'd make an excellent film.  Some of those guys were hardcore OSS/military, but a lot of them were young art historians who just happened to know some area really well.  They ran ahead of the front lines, to secure things, and a lot of them were really successful because they could simply blend in with the locals.

One guy spent the rest of his life trying to rebuild the Campo Santo in Pisa, which was bombed just hours before he arrived.

My favorite: the head of the Met in New York in the 1950-60s, was a Monument Man, and wore combat boots for the rest of his life.
 
2013-11-03 06:51:00 PM  

Dwight_Yeast: skinink: "The Nazis categorised almost all modern art as "degenerate". It was banned for being un-German or for being the work of Jewish artists."
Which makes me surprised that the Nazis didn't burn it all. I know they sold some of it cheaply, but if they hated it so much as work of the Jews, why let any of it spread?

They needed the cash.  Badly.  They sold Impressionists and stuff like Picassos, things that had ready value for pretty close to what they were worth, which wasn't a whole lot back then.  But they also sold non-Aryian paintings out of German museums for huge sums of money.  There are a couple of very good Raphaels in the National Gallery in Washhington, DC that used to blong to German museums.


Say what you will about the Nazi Party, they were pragmatic thinkers.
 
2013-11-03 06:51:09 PM  

Tom_Slick: FrancoFile: Well that's some pretty nice publicity for this movie opening soon.

Thanks for the heads up that actually looks good.


Trailer is fun.  Awesome cast.
 
2013-11-03 06:55:10 PM  
Are there any works by Hans Van Meergeren?
 
2013-11-03 06:56:30 PM  

FrancoFile: Tom_Slick: FrancoFile: Well that's some pretty nice publicity for this movie opening soon.

Thanks for the heads up that actually looks good.

Trailer is fun.  Awesome cast.


We saw the trailer a while back.  It looks like fun.   Interesting side note, my wife started listening to the audio-book this afternoon.  It was on in the kitchen while she was cooking when I popped on this link.  Talk about cosmic convergence.
 
2013-11-03 06:57:44 PM  

skinink: "The Nazis categorised almost all modern art as "degenerate". It was banned for being un-German or for being the work of Jewish artists."
Which makes me surprised that the Nazis didn't burn it all. I know they sold some of it cheaply, but if they hated it so much as work of the Jews, why let any of it spread?


Actually, it leaves me wondering if this was a Nazi stash or if some local stashed it all away, perhaps diverting it.
 
2013-11-03 06:57:45 PM  
Dwight_Yeast:

Huh.  Hadn't head about that.  There was a really good documentary on them a couple years ago, and I always thought they'd make an excellent film.  Some of those guys were hardcore OSS/military, but a lot of them were young art historians who just happened to know some area really well.  They ran ahead of the front lines, to secure things, and a lot of them were really successful because they could simply blend in with the locals.

There was a level in Medal of Honor (maybe the sequel) where there was a mine full of artwork that was rigged to blow so the Allies wouldn't get it, and your mission was to defuse all of the explosives.

The first few times I played it, I felt bad any time I accidentally hit artwork, which were all damage-capable.  (DOOM terminology would be "bleeds" not "puffs")  After a few times through, a combination of not needing to conserve ammo so much and realizing IT'S JUST A DAMN GAME, I'd shoot the shiat out of the artwork just for fun.  You'd think that there'd be a score for the amount of artwork saved from destruction, but noooo.

/that game was fun, the gunnery scores were priceless
/there were maybe four different nicknames for giving a high percentage of groin shots
 
2013-11-03 07:02:40 PM  

fusillade762: ArkAngel: Kraftwerk approves

Dammit. I knew taking the time to look up the quote would mean someone would beat me to it.


That's OK. You did it properly.
 
2013-11-03 07:04:41 PM  

Mister Peejay: After a few times through, a combination of not needing to conserve ammo so much and realizing IT'S JUST A DAMN GAME, I'd shoot the shiat out of the artwork just for fun.


For you: Link. (SFW)
 
2013-11-03 07:13:04 PM  

Mister Peejay: Say what you will about the Nazi Party, they were pragmatic thinkers.


Yeah, very little "degenerate" art was actually desctroyed by the Nazis, and almost all of it was by German Expressionists.

Most of what was destroyed during the war was due to Allied bombings.  A lot of what was originally reported as destroyed later turned up in Soviet hands, including the Sistine Madonna, and the "Treasure of Agamemnon".

The biggest things which are still missing are the Amber Room (claimed by the Soviets to have been burned) and a Caravaggio, which was in an art convoy which was supposedly bombed.  I have no opinion on the Caravaggio, but I read everything I could find on the convoy while I was in school and my feeling is that it didn't add up and that the paintings likely still exist.

It will be very interesting to see what turns up in this hoard.
 
2013-11-03 07:23:25 PM  

Dwight_Yeast: Mister Peejay: Say what you will about the Nazi Party, they were pragmatic thinkers.

Yeah, very little "degenerate" art was actually desctroyed by the Nazis, and almost all of it was by German Expressionists.

Most of what was destroyed during the war was due to Allied bombings.  A lot of what was originally reported as destroyed later turned up in Soviet hands, including the Sistine Madonna, and the "Treasure of Agamemnon".

The biggest things which are still missing are the Amber Room (claimed by the Soviets to have been burned) and a Caravaggio, which was in an art convoy which was supposedly bombed.  I have no opinion on the Caravaggio, but I read everything I could find on the convoy while I was in school and my feeling is that it didn't add up and that the paintings likely still exist.

It will be very interesting to see what turns up in this hoard.


In Oleg Kalugin's memoirs (The First Directorate), he sees all sorts of hoarded Nazi art in the attics of The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, as late as 1990.  No idea how much of that stuff has been acknowledged since the fall of Communism.
 
2013-11-03 07:29:24 PM  

FrancoFile: In Oleg Kalugin's memoirs (The First Directorate), he sees all sorts of hoarded Nazi art in the attics of The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, as late as 1990. No idea how much of that stuff has been acknowledged since the fall of Communism.


I can't even remember if the Russians have finally acknowledged having the "Agamemnon" hoard, but everyone knows they do.
 
2013-11-03 07:32:15 PM  
"Rich as Nazis" could become a phrase for when you make money through immoral means. Sort of like, "blood money."
 
2013-11-03 07:35:24 PM  

mekki: "Rich as Nazis" could become a phrase for when you make money through immoral means. Sort of like, "blood money."


I see it as having great wealth and total control for a very short time, then getting to spend the rest of your life watching the world undo your work.  It's the Potemkin Village of wealth.
 
2013-11-03 07:47:36 PM  

ecmoRandomNumbers: fusillade762: ArkAngel: Kraftwerk approves

Dammit. I knew taking the time to look up the quote would mean someone would beat me to it.

That's OK. You did it properly.


Hey, funboys, get a room!
 
2013-11-03 08:04:09 PM  
I just watched that episode not 3 hours ago.
 
2013-11-03 08:18:19 PM  
How does someone sitting on that kind of loot run into tax issues?  One hook-up with an art crazed oil sheik and this guy's great grandkids wouldn't have had tax issues.
 
2013-11-03 08:33:44 PM  

Anderson's Pooper: How does someone sitting on that kind of loot run into tax issues?  One hook-up with an art crazed oil sheik and this guy's great grandkids wouldn't have had tax issues.


Not sure what the current law in Germany is, but it's not unheard in Europe for taxes to be levied on assets, not just income.
 
2013-11-03 08:44:38 PM  

wildcardjack: skinink: "The Nazis categorised almost all modern art as "degenerate". It was banned for being un-German or for being the work of Jewish artists."
Which makes me surprised that the Nazis didn't burn it all. I know they sold some of it cheaply, but if they hated it so much as work of the Jews, why let any of it spread?

Actually, it leaves me wondering if this was a Nazi stash or if some local stashed it all away, perhaps diverting it.


A lot of the major Nazi party members and officers looted a lot of shiat for their own personal stashes/collections.

Willing to bet that this art dealers father or grandfather was a ranking Nazi.
 
2013-11-03 08:58:39 PM  

Anderson's Pooper: How does someone sitting on that kind of loot run into tax issues?  One hook-up with an art crazed oil sheik and this guy's great grandkids wouldn't have had tax issues.


I think the crux of it is here:

The magazine said the artworks were found by chance in early 2011, when the tax authorities investigated Cornelius Gurlitt, the reclusive son of an art dealer in Munich.

He was suspected of tax evasion, and investigators obtained a search warrant for his home in Munich.

There, they found the cache of some 1,500 artworks which had vanished from sight during the Nazi era.

The younger Mr Gurlitt had kept the works in darkened rooms and sold the occasional painting when he needed money, Focus reports.


Yes, those were p breaks in the original story.

Basically, I would guess you have a guy who claims to be an art dealer, but who never buys anything and claims that he owns little or nothing of value, but who regularly reports income from sales of work if he reports any income at all.

And an Arab oil billionaire wouldn't have solved his problems; they're very specific in what they buy, and they don't have the best of taste.  Also: representations of the human form are forbidden by pretty much all modern branches of Islam, which is why the big Arab art collectors traditionally collected pure abstract are like Jackson Pollock.  (That's changing at the moment).

The guy's mistake is not smuggling the paintings into Switzerland decades ago.  Back before the EU and modern tax laws, he could have simply driven them into Switzerland as personal property and stashed them in a bank vault (there are people who keep their art collections in Swiss banks and visit it a couple times a year, if ever).

Now everything's tracked and everything's monitored and the international customs and police are (finally) interested in the history of every major painting sold, as there's so much art out there at the moment which was taken illegally or immorally from its original owners during WWII.
 
2013-11-03 09:07:05 PM  

Satanic_Hamster: A lot of the major Nazi party members and officers looted a lot of shiat for their own personal stashes/collections.

Willing to bet that this art dealers father or grandfather was a ranking Nazi.


Probably a little more complex than that, as ranking Party officials didn't want to get caught possessing degenerate art.  The exception was Hermann Goering, who hoarded Impressionist paintings at the Jeu de Palme in Paris.  But he was in charge of selling seized French art, so if he'd ever got caught, he could lie and claim that he simply didn't want to flood the market (which was indeed flooded, as the paintings had nowhere to go but Switzerland).  From what I've read, a number of Monets were earmarked for Goering's own museum, which meant he was going to bring them back into Germany once things had cooled down, politically.

More likely dad was buying looted art from the Nazis, and then expected to export it (as that's all you could do with degenerate art, legally) and that what the son ended up with was unsold stock at the end of the war.
 
2013-11-03 09:07:32 PM  

FrancoFile: Well that's some pretty nice publicity for this movie opening soon.


Thanks for that. I'm there just to see the chemistry of the cast. A lot of my faves are in it.
 
2013-11-03 09:31:58 PM  

Dwight_Yeast: Basically, I would guess you have a guy who claims to be an art dealer, but who never buys anything and claims that he owns little or nothing of value, but who regularly reports income from sales of work if he reports any income at all.

And an Arab oil billionaire wouldn't have solved his problems; they're very specific in what they buy, and they don't have the best of taste. Also: representations of the human form are forbidden by pretty much all modern branches of Islam, which is why the big Arab art collectors traditionally collected pure abstract are like Jackson Pollock. (That's changing at the moment).

The guy's mistake is not smuggling the paintings into Switzerland decades ago. Back before the EU and modern tax laws, he could have simply driven them into Switzerland as personal property and stashed them in a bank vault (there are people who keep their art collections in Swiss banks and visit it a couple times a year, if ever).

Now everything's tracked and everything's monitored and the international customs and police are (finally) interested in the history of every major painting sold, as there's so much art out there at the moment which was taken illegally or immorally from its original owners during WWII.


Good points although I doubt that the oil sheiks are too concerned about their religiosity.  I assume this guy knew what he had, and if so, his family should have been set for generations if he had worked it correctly.  Still doesn't erase the Nazi stain however.
 
2013-11-03 09:40:20 PM  

fusillade762: ArkAngel: Kraftwerk approves

Dammit. I knew taking the time to look up the quote would mean someone would beat me to it.


Thread was well in hand and I knew all you funboys already had a

/got to use it all last week on the thread about the guy that stole art from German museum
 
2013-11-03 10:10:07 PM  

skinink: "The Nazis categorised almost all modern art as "degenerate". It was banned for being un-German or for being the work of Jewish artists."
Which makes me surprised that the Nazis didn't burn it all. I know they sold some of it cheaply, but if they hated it so much as work of the Jews, why let any of it spread?


Not all Nazis necessarily agreed 100% with the official assessment. Goebbels, for instance, was quite fond of modern art, and only changed his tune out of cynical opportunism when it became clear that Hitler was utterly opposed to it. This horde could have been quietly stashed by a Nazi art lover in anticipation of a possible future thawing in the regime's attitude toward modernism after Hitler's death, or it could have been assembled after it started looking like Germany might lose the war, as a sort of retirement fund. What's surprising is that it took so long for it to turn up.
 
2013-11-03 10:46:04 PM  
Fox News claims the art was found in Gurlitt's mansion, while the original article in the German magazine Focus describes Gurlitt's home as a squalid apartment. The guy apparently was sort of a hoarder, complete with the plates of uneaten rotting food and Nazi treasure.
 
2013-11-03 10:50:26 PM  

Anderson's Pooper: Good points although I doubt that the oil sheiks are too concerned about their religiosity.


It's weird that they generally have been concerned about what they bought (aside from the Shah in the 1970s, there weren't a lot of big collectors in that region, but Iran is not an Arab country), and there's not much place for anything old in traditional Arab Muslim culture, which is why the Saudi royal family  are destroying the ancient parts of Mecca and Medina which don't fit with their narrow take on Islam.

But as these folks spread internationally, learn more and grasp western culture, that's changing.  If you owned a Renoir nude in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s and you pissed off the right person, it was likely to land you in some shiat.  But today, the Qatari royal family (more liberal than their Saudi neighbors) know which way the wind's blowing and investing heavily in European art, apparently with an eye towards opening a museum in their homeland.  They recently spent $250 million on the last of the great Cezanne Card Players (there are five total), which is the most anyone ever admitted to paying for a work of art in a private sale.

And if you're an art-minded Saudi, you can keep your collection in your Paris or New York house, and don't have to worry about the religious police ever seeing it.

Oh, and the funny thing about all the American Abstract Expressionist paintings in the Shah's collection?  David Geffen bought them.  Well, actually he traded ancient Persian manuscripts for them through a loophole in our embargo.  They're now either in his museum or sold onto hedge fund billionaires.
 
2013-11-03 11:53:26 PM  

Dwight_Yeast: Mister Peejay: Say what you will about the Nazi Party, they were pragmatic thinkers.

Yeah, very little "degenerate" art was actually desctroyed by the Nazis, and almost all of it was by German Expressionists.

Most of what was destroyed during the war was due to Allied bombings.  A lot of what was originally reported as destroyed later turned up in Soviet hands, including the Sistine Madonna, and the "Treasure of Agamemnon".

The biggest things which are still missing are the Amber Room (claimed by the Soviets to have been burned) and a Caravaggio, which was in an art convoy which was supposedly bombed.  I have no opinion on the Caravaggio, but I read everything I could find on the convoy while I was in school and my feeling is that it didn't add up and that the paintings likely still exist.

It will be very interesting to see what turns up in this hoard.

The Caravaggio...any books on it specifically that you could recommend?  I'm a huge fan of Art theft, art forgery, and art history in general, but I don't recall this one.

/the Amber room is gone. Not only is amber fragile over the long term, but it gives off a lovely scent when burned, which is likely what happened.

 
2013-11-04 12:54:38 AM  

doomjesse: The Caravaggio...any books on it specifically that you could recommend? I'm a huge fan of Art theft, art forgery, and art history in general, but I don't recall this one.

/the Amber room is gone. Not only is amber fragile over the long term, but it gives off a lovely scent when burned, which is likely what happened.


The thing that puzzles me about that much amber burning (and it's fossilized pine pitch, so it does readily burn) is that it should have left some soft of residue. And as every side kept all sorts of amazing and disturbing records, I would expect some photos or something to have turned up by this point. I think it's either out there, or that someone cut it up and turned it into cash. As the Soviets painstakingly recreated it in the 60-80s, I don't think it was them.

The Caravaggio is a personal favorite. It's "St Matthew and the Angel" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Matthew_and_the_Angel), painted for the French church in Rome (san Luigi della franchasi). Caravaggio is commissioned to do paintings on the life of St Matthew, with someone else making a statue for the altar. The patrons reject the statue and commission a third painting from Caravaggio, of St Matthew writing the Gospel.

What he turns in freaks them out, and the reasons are interesting. Tradition says it's Matthew's foot sticking out of the painting right over the altar with the dirty sole visible, but that doesn't make sense as they loved the other two paintings and it's the same model. The foreshortening of the foot was new and novel, but that would have been a plus.

There are two theories: one is that the angel is actually guiding Matthew's hand, which is a theological no-no in the post-Reformation era as the New Testament is not the Word of God, but rather God transmitted though humans (ie, there might be flaws). The second is that one of the patrons liked it so much that they simply wanted it for themselves and it went into a private collection (this happened all the time, and the fact that both survived, that Caravaggio didn't reuse the canvass, supports that).

Either way, he paints a second version, no protruding foot, angel not touching Matthew, called "The Inspiration of St Matthew" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Inspiration_of_Saint_Matthew) and while it's a better fit with the other two paintings, the original is still my favorite.

I can't remember the provenance of St Matthew and the Angel, but it ended up in Germany in a museum in Berlin. Then things get really murky, as the most complete version of the story I found was that it was lost when a convoy was accidentally bombed but there's no formal detailed record of that. And very little art from German museums was destroyed during the war, as they carefully packed it all away in caves and salt mines. The Wikipedia says that it was destroyed when the Bode Museum was bombed, which did happen (the Museums in Berlin are right on the river and the major n-s train line through the city) but at a time the building should have already been empty.

This was all something I pieced together over a decade ago, so I don't have one source for it. If you're interested in art theft, check out The Rape of Europa (the book or the movie), the documentary "Stolen" about the Gardner Heist (which is worth it for the sad tale of the dying investigator working the case), Priceless (also about the Gardner, but includes several other cases, including one of the thefts of The Scream).

Oh, and avoid "The Art of the Steal" as it has nothing to do with art theft but rather involves a bunch of people complaining that a museum they didn't want to live with moved out of their neighborhood!

I also suggest reading the BBC World News, as they cover a lot of stuff I don't see in the American press; just recently they reported that the family who own Klimt's "Beethoven Mural" are suing for its return, which would be the single most expensive and important restitution case thus far. We're talking something that could bring $200-300 million on the open market, and a centerpiece of the Austrian national art collection.
 
2013-11-04 01:19:08 AM  

Dwight_Yeast: FrancoFile: Well that's some pretty nice publicity for this movie opening soon.

Huh.  Hadn't head about that.  There was a really good documentary on them a couple years ago, and I always thought they'd make an excellent film.  Some of those guys were hardcore OSS/military, but a lot of them were young art historians who just happened to know some area really well.  They ran ahead of the front lines, to secure things, and a lot of them were really successful because they could simply blend in with the locals.

One guy spent the rest of his life trying to rebuild the Campo Santo in Pisa, which was bombed just hours before he arrived.

My favorite: the head of the Met in New York in the 1950-60s, was a Monument Man, and wore combat boots for the rest of his life.


Was that doc aired on PBS called Rape of Europa?

http://www.pbs.org/therapeofeuropa/

Cos yeah, I saw that and thought the same thing about it being a great doc and a great basis for a movie.

Monument Man looks pretty good.
 
2013-11-04 01:39:50 AM  
Dwight_Yeast:
doomjesse: The Caravaggio...any books on it specifically that you could recommend? I'm a huge fan of Art theft, art forgery, and art history in general, but I don't recall this one.

/the Amber room is gone. Not only is amber fragile over the long term, but it gives off a lovely scent when burned, which is likely what happened.

The thing that puzzles me about that much amber burning (and it's fossilized pine pitch, so it does readily burn) is that it should have left some soft of residue. And as every side kept all sorts of amazing and disturbing records, I would expect some photos or something to have turned up by this point. I think it's either out there, or that someone cut it up and turned it into cash. As the Soviets painstakingly recreated it in the 60-80s, I don't think it was them.


First off you need to read some of the Russian accounts of art theft (Try Beautiful Loot by Akinsha Konstantin), basically the Amber Room was in poor shape even them.  I don't necessarily think the Russians destroyed it intentionally but by neglect after transport elsewhere it probably crumbled and became "worthless".
 
2013-11-04 01:47:16 AM  

Dwight_Yeast: This was all something I pieced together over a decade ago, so I don't have one source for it. If you're interested in art theft, check out The Rape of Europa (the book or the movie), the documentary "Stolen" about the Gardner Heist (which is worth it for the sad tale of the dying investigator working the case), Priceless (also about the Gardner, but includes several other cases, including one of the thefts of The Scream).

Oh, and avoid "The Art of the Steal" as it has nothing to do with art theft but rather involves a bunch of people complaining that a museum they didn't want to live with moved out of their neighborhood!

I also suggest reading the BBC World News, as they cover a lot of stuff I don't see in the American press; just recently they reported that the family who own Klimt's "Beethoven Mural" are suing for its return, which would be the single most expensive and important restitution case thus far. We're talking something that could bring $200-300 million on the open market, and a centerpiece of the Austrian national art collection.


Thanks for the suggestions but I own or have read all of those.  For a reciprocal recommendation feel free to click to my librarything collection  (  http://www.librarything.com/catalog/doomjesse&tag=art+theft&collectio n =-1 )

I hadn't kept up with the Klimt restitution. thanks for the update.
 
2013-11-04 03:22:20 AM  

Dwight_Yeast: Now everything's tracked and everything's monitored and the international customs and police are (finally) interested in the history of every major painting sold, as there's so much art out there at the moment which was taken illegally or immorally from its original ...


Now if we could only get them interested in the theft of human remains and cultural artefacts of indigenous people by the British in the name of Empire during the last three hundred years, most of which remains on display in England today.

/pales in comparison to some stolen paintings
 
2013-11-04 04:58:47 AM  
Just in time for Clooney's movie. Coincidence?
 
2013-11-04 05:24:00 AM  

Hiro-ACiD: most of which remains on display in England today


Greece is still pissed about all the stuff stolen wholesale from the Parthenon that's on display in the British Museum.

And the Amber Room has been recreated, although in the dim light of the tour, it's not as glorious as the pictures in books about it.

i831.photobucket.com
 
2013-11-04 06:06:27 AM  

Anderson's Pooper: Dwight_Yeast: Basically, I would guess you have a guy who claims to be an art dealer, but who never buys anything and claims that he owns little or nothing of value, but who regularly reports income from sales of work if he reports any income at all.

And an Arab oil billionaire wouldn't have solved his problems; they're very specific in what they buy, and they don't have the best of taste. Also: representations of the human form are forbidden by pretty much all modern branches of Islam, which is why the big Arab art collectors traditionally collected pure abstract are like Jackson Pollock. (That's changing at the moment).

The guy's mistake is not smuggling the paintings into Switzerland decades ago. Back before the EU and modern tax laws, he could have simply driven them into Switzerland as personal property and stashed them in a bank vault (there are people who keep their art collections in Swiss banks and visit it a couple times a year, if ever).

Now everything's tracked and everything's monitored and the international customs and police are (finally) interested in the history of every major painting sold, as there's so much art out there at the moment which was taken illegally or immorally from its original owners during WWII.

Good points although I doubt that the oil sheiks are too concerned about their religiosity.  I assume this guy knew what he had, and if so, his family should have been set for generations if he had worked it correctly.  Still doesn't erase the Nazi stain however.


They ARE concerned about their lives.  All it takes is a couple of rivals to say they are blasphemers and their security issues go up quite a bit.
 
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