Art Theft

It appears that a thief cut through a padlock and broke a window and stole about $124 million dollars worth of art. First off, who knew that that much valuable art work was that easy to get at? If you watch art thefts in the movies you would expect that this sort of thing (large value art theft) was really really difficult. But apparently a large bolt cutter will do the trick. Yet another case of real life and the movies being out of sync I guess. From what I read all of the high powered security devices that the movie thieves by-pass can not really be by-passed using the tricks in the movies either.

The director of another art museum said "These five paintings are un-sellable, so thieves, sirs, you are imbeciles, now return them." In the movies such art works are unsellable at least in the open market but are sold to rich collectors who have secret collections. I have no idea if such secret collections exist but if they do I suspect this art thief knows about them and we’ll never see those art works again. After all the art stolen from the Gardner Museum in Boston have never been seen again. According to that article the recovery rate for art is about 5% and for high profile art only about 20%. So apparently all this stolen art goes somewhere.

Did someone steal this art for themselves or under contract for a private buyer? We’ll probably never know. It’s pretty amazing though that thieves get a way with it so often.

2 Responses to “Art Theft”

  1. Matt says:

    I read an interesting thing a bit ago claiming that some druglords use fine art as a mode of payment for international transit — it’s easy to slip a Picasso through the border by claiming it’s a $20 print you bought on your trip. I don’t know what happens when they get it across, though; they still have the issue that you can’t sell it on the open market.

  2. Mr. T says:

    It works if you like art I guess. Or you know people who buy stolen art.

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