Art Crimes: In Short
1. Oslo: Scream theives convicted:
Three of six men charged in the 2004 theft of Edvard Munch's paintings "The Scream" and "Madonna" were declared guilty on Tuesday in Oslo District Court and sentenced to prison terms of four to eight years.
Two of the men were also ordered to repay the city $121 million, the combined insured value of the paintings, which remain missing.
Prosecutors said they were satisfied by the trial's outcome and suggested that the financial penalties might persuade one of the convicted men to reveal the whereabouts of the stolen art.
Only if they have $121 million to give, no? Anyone attempting to force me to cough up that kind of money would get little more than a guffaw in response. Wouldn't a penalty that would really cost them something they already have make more sense? Not sure I get how that's supposed to work.
2. Boca Raton, Florida: Driver disappears with millions in Milton's and other goodies:
Need $100,000? McIntosh is 6'9". Anyone that tall come into your gallery, trying to flog you some Avery's, sit them down, give 'em some coffee, and sneak out to call the cops.
A convicted felon who worked as a driver transporting artwork to New York City for a Florida company has disappeared with a truckload of pieces valued at several million dollars, investigators said yesterday.
AXA Art Insurance Corporation has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of seven Milton Avery paintings that were part of the shipment, according to Detective Michael A. Mauro of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
He said the driver, Patrick Joseph McIntosh, 36, who was employed by David Jones Fine Art Services of Boca Raton, Fla., left the city on April 18 with the artwork.
3. Waltham, MA: Censors close exhibition at Brandeis University (via Tyler):
A bulldozer menaces a girl with ebony pigtails, who lies in a pool of blood. A boy with an amputated leg balances on a crutch, in a tent city with a Palestinian flag. A dove, dripping blood, perches against blue barbed wire.Now, I'm all in favor of "purple" (i.e., more two-sided) art, as noted here, but I think that's the artist's responsibility, not the sponsoring institution's. As Halperin noted: "Let's talk about what it is: 12-year-olds from a Palestinian refugee camp. Obviously it's not going to be about flowers and balloons." The university says they might exhibit the work later next fall, alongside images that show the Israeli point of view. I guess that means images of carnage after a sucidie bombing drawn by teenagers who survived one. So long as the horror is balanced and neither side has to feel morally challenged to change its course of action, eh? Grrr...
Palestinian teenagers painted those images at the request of an Israeli Jewish student at Brandeis University, who said she wanted to use the art to bring the Palestinian viewpoint to campus. But university officials removed the paintings four days into a two-week exhibition in the Brandeis library.
University officials said the paintings depicted only one side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Lior Halperin, the student who organized the exhibit, said the university censored an alternative view.
4. New York: Bottomfeeders succeed in breaking up Blakes:
A rare set of 19 original watercolors by English artist and poet William Blake were sold at auction today at Sotheby's in New York.Sigh.
The auction, which Sotheby's had estimated would fetch between $12-17.5 million, was somewhat controversial, as each original was sold separately—with the potential for possibly scattering the works amongst far-flung private collecitons.
Blake scholars in Britain were outraged when it was announced in February that the group would be sold as separate lots, the Daily Telegraph reports. The British Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art failed in a bid to keep the watercolors within the U.K.