Monday, April 25, 2016

Raiders of the Lost Art

This week is a series of shows rather than a movie. The series is called, Raiders of the Lost Art. It originally aired on Ovation, a television channel geared towards the arts. Every year they play the Nutcracker at Christmas and I always make sure to watch. Raiders of the Lost Art is all about missing art, stolen art and mysteries about certain pieces. Each show focuses on one subject so if you're not interested in Van Gogh, skip him and watch the show about Faberge eggs. I recommend you watch all of them though, they're all produced well and seem to be very well researched too.
If you need a good book to read to go along with the show, Priceless:  How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasure by Robert K. Wittman. Not as exciting as Hercule Poirot but definitely an interesting detective and a good read. Each chapter is about a different case and you'd think after a few the "operation" would start to be the same but they're not. Some art thefts were straight forward, disguise yourself as a black market dealer and earn the trust of the thief and keep the "friendship" long enough to authenticate the painting and then make the arrest. However, his job took him around the world and each country treats art theft differently. Oddly enough his statistics make it sound like The United States takes art theft more seriously than most.
As I've said before art theft fascinates me.  Why people steal art and then the hunting down of the art is like a real life Indiana Jones but with less faces melting off. As for the why people steal art, lot's of studies and papers have been written about it. Here's an interesting article about it that was written shortly after a theft of seven paintings in Rotterdam back in 2012. The alleged art thieves were arrested in 2013 and one of them confessed to burning all of the paintings. The paintings were never recovered and it's unknown if they were actually burnt.  What is it about art that makes it so valuable that people would go to such great lengths to steal it?

No comments:

Post a Comment