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Thread: Art Heist

  1. #1
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    Art Heist

    Apparently, a lone thief made off with five paintings from the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, including a Picasso and a Matisse.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/10130840.stm

    Now here's something interesting. From the above link:
    The paintings are estimated to be worth some 500m euros (£431m; $618m).
    From a CNN link:
    The artworks are worth a total of just less than 100 million euros ($123.7 million), said Christophe Girard, cultural attache to the Paris town hall, which runs the museum.
    Bloomberg clarifies:
    The paintings are together worth about 100 million euros ($123 million,) Christophe Girard, the Paris city official responsible for culture said as he visited the scene of the crime today. He dismissed earlier reports putting the value as high as 500 million euros.
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

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  2. #2
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Art valuation is rather difficult, it is based on what an expert thinks someone out there might pay. It is possible that the fact fact they were stolen would add to their glamor and so value.

  3. #3
    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    One person and five paintings?

    That's a lot of art to carry all at once.
    You are more than welcome to take anything I say personally, whether it was intended that way or not.

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  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW Enzo's Avatar
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    If they're so famous, the thief is not going to find a buyer. Unless, of course, the whole thing was set up from the start by a collector who put in an order with the thieves.
    Nothing like an arts or a diamonds theft to fire up my interest in heist movies again.
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  5. #5
    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    They roll them up, stick them in a tube, and mail them through the mail drop inside the museum. Didn't you see Entrapment?
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  6. #6
    Pasture-ized slcboston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    They roll them up, stick them in a tube, and mail them through the mail drop inside the museum. Didn't you see Entrapment?
    Honestly, I wasn't paying attention to most of that movie, other than certain choice bits.




    but, that does seem like a rather large discrepancy. Maybe deliberately downplaying the amount they're worth in an effort to dissuade the thieves or something?

    Not sure it would matter, even without a buyer lined up, there are likely ways to sell these through black market routes and such. Or you just sit on them long enough until you can sell them.

    I hope they turn up soon, and undamaged, but sometimes these things just disappear.
    There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.

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  7. #7
    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    What is it with that movie? Catherine Zeta-Jones crawls through a few laser beams blindfolded, and guys lose the ability to think?
    I wrote a blog.
    Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference - the one takes account of the visible effect;
    the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. ~Frederic Bastiat
    Economics puts parameters on people’s utopias. ~Peter Boettke
    The 'social contract' is to the politician what 'original sin' is to the priest. ~Don
    The vision of the helpful and protective state is the most pervasive and counter-productive ideology in the world today. ~Don

    I tend to blame the Feds for Don, actually.
    If they'd get it right, we wouldn't need Don pointing out that they'd gotten it wrong.
    ~ Medievalist

  8. #8
    "Assume Good Intentions" SuperModerator Williebee's Avatar
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    Catherine Zeta-Jones crawls through a few laser beams blindfolded, and guys lose the ability to think
    ?

    Well yeah, what's your point?

    I wonder if downplaying the value is way of

    1) Cutting down the thief's prospective take through a fence. and
    2) Cutting into the thief's hopes of profit from reselling it back to the museum?

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  9. #9
    Pasture-ized slcboston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    What is it with that movie? Catherine Zeta-Jones crawls through a few laser beams blindfolded, and guys lose the ability to think?
    I'd rather be robbed by her than Pierce Brosnan or DeNiro and Norton.



    sadly, I don't think most art thieves are quite so... um... gifted.
    There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.

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  10. #10
    Pasture-ized slcboston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williebee View Post
    2) Cutting into the thief's hopes of profit from reselling it back to the museum?
    do they do that?

    I know museums sometimes get them back, but I can't see them paying for it. Granted I'm sure - or would hope - that insurance covers some of the losses from something like that, but I would think that sort of policy would be an almost open invitation to have things stolen.
    There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.

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  11. #11
    Banned billythrilly7th's Avatar
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    Wasn't me.

  12. #12
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    Catherine Zeta Jones?

    *hurls all over thread*

    You guys can take that sh!t right out of here.
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW
    You're a smug, sneering, ranting asshole, and yet even when I despise your position, I like you.
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  13. #13
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Apparently stolen art is sometimes used in criminal dealings as collateral now that money is harder to move around without attracting attention.

  14. #14
    All Living is Local Don's Avatar
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    Yep. All the currency laws are resurrecting the ages-old trade standard of barter. It's not just criminal enterprises, either... although most governments consider unreported barter as criminal in and of itself.
    I wrote a blog.
    Between a good and a bad economist this constitutes the whole difference - the one takes account of the visible effect;
    the other takes account both of the effects which are seen, and also of those which it is necessary to foresee. ~Frederic Bastiat
    Economics puts parameters on people’s utopias. ~Peter Boettke
    The 'social contract' is to the politician what 'original sin' is to the priest. ~Don
    The vision of the helpful and protective state is the most pervasive and counter-productive ideology in the world today. ~Don

    I tend to blame the Feds for Don, actually.
    If they'd get it right, we wouldn't need Don pointing out that they'd gotten it wrong.
    ~ Medievalist

  15. #15
    I Pride with my Grandson! KTC's Avatar
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    this wouldn't happen to my Matisse.
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  16. #16
    "Assume Good Intentions" SuperModerator Williebee's Avatar
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    do they do that?
    I have been told by a friend in the museum biz that it has happened. Anecdotal, at best. But it was from someone who has proven trustworthy in the past.

    "There's a Voodoo Game on in the Crescent City. Pray for the Pawns."

    "Murder at the Beach" -- Anthony Award Nominated Anthology!

    Available now where all kinds of cool books are sold.
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    More stories by Eldon Hughes -- "I Found A Knife"

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  17. #17
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    As all of the artists mentioned weren't my favorites, I guess I don't really care other than the security in Paris museums must be amazingly lax. Thank heavens the thieves have a thing for modern or they'd be stalking the Louvre. Still could, I suppose. Watch out, Mona!!

  18. #18
    When was the last great art heist? (...and when will be the next?)
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    "Assume Good Intentions" SuperModerator Williebee's Avatar
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    Time Line of Major Art Thefts

    ETA: And, I'm not telling.



    Like I'd know a Chagall from a Sheboygan

    "There's a Voodoo Game on in the Crescent City. Pray for the Pawns."

    "Murder at the Beach" -- Anthony Award Nominated Anthology!

    Available now where all kinds of cool books are sold.
    Kobo Kindle Nook iBook
    More stories by Eldon Hughes -- "I Found A Knife"

    Read the Newbie Guide.

    "We are writers; we own our words. Please choose yours to add light and not just heat."

  20. #20
    That is more useful than you understand.
    a chrysalis

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  21. #21
    Domestic extremist darkprincealain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcboston View Post
    I'd rather be robbed by her than Pierce Brosnan or DeNiro and Norton.
    No thanks on all four counts.


    Back on topic, I think I pretty much agree that the paintings in question are too famous, and will be bartered rather than trying to sell them to/through a fence. Maybe Girard is trying simply to lower their selling value as stated upthread, or maybe he has particular reason to hope they are bartered. Perhaps there is some way of recovering them easily in that process.

  22. #22
    "Assume Good Intentions" SuperModerator Williebee's Avatar
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    That is more useful than you understand.
    Ok, then. When will the next major theft be?

    S'ok. You can tell me by PM. I know a guy...


    "There's a Voodoo Game on in the Crescent City. Pray for the Pawns."

    "Murder at the Beach" -- Anthony Award Nominated Anthology!

    Available now where all kinds of cool books are sold.
    Kobo Kindle Nook iBook
    More stories by Eldon Hughes -- "I Found A Knife"

    Read the Newbie Guide.

    "We are writers; we own our words. Please choose yours to add light and not just heat."

  23. #23
    Exploring the infinite abyss Millicent M'Lady's Avatar
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    Have to say, I think "heist" seems to indicate some level of smarts in the criminal. Which is wrong. I think "less dumb than the museum" would be more accurate- how the hell could someone just break a window and rob five world-famous paintings? 0_0
    Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals

  24. #24
    Timing. Plus, as they say in the films, "Getting the goods is the easy part. Anyone can get the goods."
    a chrysalis

    free fantasy novella

  25. #25
    Legal Authority/Public Intellectual robeiae's Avatar
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    Well, there could be a lot more to it. We don't know, yet. And sometimes, what seems to be the dumbest way turns out to be the smartest way. It takes an idiot or a genius...
    I put for the general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death. --Thomas Hobbes

    Quote Originally Posted by CassandraW
    You're a smug, sneering, ranting asshole, and yet even when I despise your position, I like you.
    Learning to run, T'ai Chi style--blogging about running and Eastern philosophy
    Ponds of Happenstance--blogging about politics, economics, and history
    Sailor on the Ponds--tweeting about everything

    Stars, Bars, and Symbols of the Past

    Same-sex marriage and Southern heritage

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