There was another major heist at a European Art Museum yesterday – this time in the Netherlands at the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam.
Thieves broke in at 3am, set off alarms and managed to get away with 7 targeted works in less than 5 minutes, which is how long it took for the police to arrive.
Some people look on art theft as a fun, cinematic type of larceny. The stuff being stolen is extremely valuable but of no real use. Rich people and insurance companies suffer the loss. And if you’re the burglar, you could be a toned and sexy genius – a talented thrill seeker too smooth to get caught.
The Wall Street Journal says art theft is a $6 billion global black market, and the U.S. is the biggest single destination for taken treasures. But if you wind up with one of the more than 1,000 pilfered Picassos, you probably won’t be able to sell it because it’s logged in at the Art Loss Register, a worldwide database of missing masterpieces.
You’ll have to install it on the back side of a revolving wall, a priceless bauble to be shown only to “special” guests at your penthouse, but only after too many drinks have been poured and just before the cigars are lit.
Unless, of course, you come into it by accident, completely unaware that the “nice” picture you paid $15 for at a garage sale is the subject of an international search-and-rescue operation. Unlikely, but it could happen, what with all the quirky heist junkies out there. After all, it’s just a game to them. Who knows where the stolen art is hiding?
What object in your home could be a stolen work of art?