Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Art Theft!

I just listened to a really good podcast about two J.M.W. Turner paintings that were stolen in 1994. The speaker is Sandy Nairne the director of the National Portrait Gallery in London. He was involved in the recovery of the paintings many years later. He's a good storyteller! If you scroll down on this page it's the second podcast listed. Or you can go directly to the story. Mr. Nairne wrote a book about the theft and recovery also. http://shop.nga.gov

He's right that we romanticize art theft and thieves. You know how handsome and ruthless those mastermind criminals are in the movies? Mr. Nairne pointed out several cases where a thief returned a valuable stolen painting- including the Mona Lisa, and no one believed that he was the thief because he didn't fit that romantic profile.

I know that thieves come in all shapes and sizes. I worked in a gift store for many years and we finally realized that most things were being stolen by nicely dressed middle-aged women. Many of my greeting cards were stolen over the years. I have to admit, it made me a little happy. Not only were people willing to pay for something I made, they were willing to STEAL it. I might feel a little differently if the cost of the stolen items was more than the $4.50 I sell my cards for though!

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