I remember the funny scene in The Freshman where Mathew Broderick goes to a girlfriends house. There are armed security guards. The family is obviously in the mob. And, he sees a Mona Lisa painting and comments that it looks so much like the real one, with all the lines and cracks in it. She says, "It is." He looks confused, looks back at the painting, and she explains "Remember they had that touring exhibit with it on display? Well, let's just say, we now have the real one."

When I hear about theft of high priced art, I always laugh. It must seem like such an easy score to the thieves. And who can blame them? If you're gonna steal, why not grab a $20 million Monet.

The problem is...where are you going to sell it? Ebay? An art gallery? It doesn't work that easily.

I mean, look at Spielberg. Someone working at his house saw a painting. Googled info on it, and found out it was stolen 25 years earlier. I'm sure it was tracked down after that, to the person he purchased it from, and so on.

Unless you're going to hang a Chagall in your living room, and hire an armed guard, it's probably not worth taking. But, in L.A. the other day, some Diego Rivera, Chagall, and other high priced art was stolen. In broad daylight.

The most valuable is a Kees van Dongen oil.

The couple that had them stolen live in Encino. And...here's where my friends give me crap. Because, well, they're all idiots.

They hate when I say you should be "guilty until proven innocent." And here is why.

The theft happened when a maid, who has worked for the couple for years and years, went to the store. And, she left a service door unlocked.

In the hour she was gone, the paintings were taken from the walls of two rooms.

The couple was home at the time, but in a different part of the house and didn't hear a thing. If they had, not sure what they could've done. The husband is bedridden.

You can't tell me that this was a coincidence. That a burglar just happened to walk by, at the very time a door was left unlocked. And just happened to hit, probably the only house within miles, that had millions and millions of dollars worth of art.

If the police don't strap this maid up to a lie detector test, or waterboard her until she confesses...I say this couples family should get involved.

And go Charles Bronson on her butt.

Comments

towelheadedcameljockey Sept. 12, 2008 @ 11:10 a.m.

Well, why not then rope up the couple, and their whole family too.

Screw stealing art. It's all about putting up your own. Below is a excerpt from a few article, all mainly issued around early '05

"Over the last few weeks, Banksy has been taking his street art into major galleries, like the Louvre in Paris and New York's MOMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the American Museum of Natural History. His work isn't being accepted into the galleries by the curators; Instead, Banksy is gluing on a fake beard, walking in during normal business hours, and sticking his altered landscape paintings on the gallery walls using only a bit of adhesive tape."

"In 2004, Banksy walked into the Louvre in Paris and hung on a wall a picture he had painted resembling the Mona Lisa but with a yellow smiley face. Though the painting was hurriedly removed by the museum staff, it and its counterpart, temporarily on unknown display at the Tate Britain, were described by Banksy as 'shortcuts'. He is quoted as saying: "To actually [have to] go through the process of having a painting selected must be quite boring, It's a lot more fun to go and put your own one up."

He also replaced 500 CD covers when Paris Hilton's CD was released with his own version.

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a2zresource Sept. 12, 2008 @ 4:21 p.m.

Hmmm... you seem to have enough facts that the maid can still be "innocent until proven guilty", which you have!

At the same time, collecting expensive art for expensive art's sake seems somewhat shallow. I'd much rather feed the poor, educate the ignorant, or blow it all of a real binge in TJ, where it'll seriously improve the economics at some hole-in-the-wall bar/bed and no-breakfast...

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towelheadedcameljockey Sept. 12, 2008 @ 4:33 p.m.

a2z, you don't know what kind of charitable contributions this couple makes. They could very well be extremely generous to charities with their money. If they have the type of cash to be picking up million dollar pieces here and there, they have the type of cash to make major donation. If they don't have that cash, then that's more reason to rope em' up with the maid in Board's court of law.

Bill Gates started his charity foundation with a 126 million dollar fund. So, even though he may buy some fancy things, he also donates a lot of money and time to those who need it.

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antigeekess Sept. 12, 2008 @ 7:35 p.m.

Towelie, Bill & Melinda Gates have actually given as much as $5 BILLION at a time to that foundation.

http://www.beachbrowser.com/Archives/News-and-Human-Interest/June-99/Gates-Donate-5billion.htm

Billions and billions, over the years.

JB, that art will get sold on the black market, completely underground to extremely wealthy buyers, where it'll be locked away in private collections and shown to almost no one. A$$holes.

The maid is probably in on it, and is most likely a prime suspect. But it's also extremely possible that the house was being watched by someone who knew the art was there, and was waiting for their moment. Family, someone hired by an acquaintance of the couple, etc. It's some sort of inside job, for sure.

MY personal favorite art-related heist story, of recent years?

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23421598-details/The%20artful%20codgers:%20Pensioners%20who%20conned%20British%20museums%20with%20%C3%82%C2%A310m%20forgeries/article.do

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a2zresource Sept. 12, 2008 @ 9 p.m.

Regarding #3:

To be honest, I've received millions upon millions of bytes in excess unused software from Bill Gates everytime I've gotten a new Windows PC, so I have to admit he's been generous enough to me!

I have no plans to have billion$. I'll be happy with a few hundred million. Even then, there will be no art collection except for some really enormous Olmec heads that I'm planning on doing myself. The little kids need something to climb on.

It's either that, or some anonymous concrete dinosaurs to be scattered around public places in Bonita.

On the other hand, there is this friend who lives in India. We used to talk about setting up schools and colleges there back when we were both at the University of Spoiled Daughters...

I've always wanted to have my own university.

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