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Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

In the news: Picasso in the garbage? An art thief named Spiderman?

by Leticia Marie Sanchez FLASHBACK TO AN ART CRIME NEWS STORY FROM 2011 Picasso’s “Le Pigeon aux Petits-Pois” stolen from the Paris Museum of Modern Art  Sacré bleu! Is nothing sacred ? A Parisian art thief confessed that he dumped more than $134 million dollars worth of art in a garbage bin. The stolen works, including paintings by Picasso, Braque, Modigliani, Matisse. and Leger were looted from the Paris Museum of Modern Art. Apparently the paintings were destroyed with the rest of the day’s trash. The sticky-fingered art thief got cold feet after his cohorts in the art spree began to be questioned by police so he dumped the masterpieces in the garbage. Not even the recycling bin, mind you. Now here is where the spurious story takes an even more sordid turn. The thief’s ally in gaining the stolen treasure

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Our hearts are with the people of Paris

Editor’s Note: Leticia Marie Sanchez Devastated to read about the fire at Notre Dame Remembering a peaceful morning stroll this summer with my son from Notre Dame to the bird market. CNN’s latest report is that ”The entire wooden interior of Notre Dame Cathedral has been lost.” https://www.cnn.com/…/nortre-dame-fire-oak…/index.html What a terrible artistic loss. Our hearts are with the people of Paris.    

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Badabing Badaboom: Stolen Van Gogh paintings found in Mafia den

Badabing Badaboom  Two Stolen Van Gogh paintings found in home of Naples Mafia boss In honor of Van Gogh’s birthday this week (Happy Birthday, Vincent Van Gogh!) a Flashback to a news story from 3 years ago, 2016, when 2 Pilfered Van Gogh Paintings were found! by Leticia Marie Sanchez Two Vincent Van Gogh paintings that were stolen from a museum in Amsterdam fourteen years ago have been recovered in the house of a mafia lord at Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples. The two paintings, Seafront at Scheveningen and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen, were stolen from the Van Gogh museum in 2002 by thieves who climbed to the roof of the museum using a ladder and then absconded by means of a rope. One of the agile art thieves earned the alias “The Monkey,” and the FBI Art Crime Team

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Art News: Is the world’s most expensive painting a fake?

The latest Da Vinci mystery  by Leticia Marie Sanchez The Salvator Mundi, supposedly painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, sold for a staggering $450.3  million at Christie’s in New York was bought by a Saudi prince. Yet rumors have surfaced that the Louvre Abu Dhabi postponed an unveiling of this painting, due to disputes about its authentication. The painting is  set to make a cameo appearance at the Louvre Paris this Fall to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Da Vinci. What is mind-boggling is that this “Da Vinci” was purchased at a Louisiana estate sale in 2005 for a measly $10,000. And tracing its provenance, further, the Kuntz family purchased it in London in 1958 for a mere $120, not as a Da Vinci painting, but instead attributed to the “school of Da Vinci.” * Jonathan Jones’ informative

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In the news: Selfies and artistic collateral damage

Selfies: Artistic Collateral Damage? by  Leticia Marie Sanchez This article first appeared in Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2016  One cannot enter a gallery, museum, or even concert venue without encountering a selfie taker, some more subtle and thoughtful than others. Taking a selfie as a souvenir of an artistic experience is one thing. But what happens when I-phones become Weapons of Mass Destruction? Unfortunately, at the 14th Factory, a pop-up gallery in Los Angeles,  a clumsy student taking a selfie apparently caused more than $200,000 worth of damage to a series of crowned pedestals by Hong Kong based multimedia artist Simon Birch. Birch decided not to press charges against the individual because 1) she was a student and 2) it was an accident. In a statement released by Birch, the artist reveals: “Each sculpture was painstakingly designed and built from all kinds of

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2011 Art Crime: Stolen Rembrandt found in Encino Church

This post first appeared in Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2011: Only three days after a Rembrandt drawing valued at $250,000 was snatched from the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey, “The Judgement,” turned up mysteriously at St. Nicholas of Myra Episcopal Church in Encino. An assistant priest noticed the drawing placed inside his boss’ office. He assumed that it was a donation by a parishioner before recognizing the work as the stolen Rembrandt. Questions abound: Why did the art thief dump the painting in the church? Was it a spiritual crisis of conscience? Or a convenient place without security cameras? Did the title of Rembrandt’s drawing, “The Judgement,” give the thief pause? How did the art thief get access to the church’s inside office? Did he watch Ben Affleck’s heist-caper “The Town” too many times and don a nun disguise?

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The Key of D Minor? Vitamin D deficiency may have contributed to Mozart’s death

According to an article in Live Science, the lack of sunlight-induced Vitamin D may have contributed to Mozart’s young demise. The authors of the study surmise that the Vitamin D deficiency could have made the composer more susceptible to a plethora of infections during the winter. According to the authors of the study, “Mozart did much of his composing at night, so would have slept during much of the day. At the latitude of Vienna, 48 degrees N, it is impossible to make vitamin D from solar ultraviolet-B irradiance for about 6 months of the year. Mozart died on December 5, 1791, two to three months into the vitamin D winter.” The researchers include: D. William Grant, of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco, and Stefan Pilz of the Medical University of Graz in Austria For the

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Art world crime: In the news: Joshua Bell impersonator robs hotel room of celebrity violinist

Throwback Tuesday to an Art Crime from 2012 Art World Crime: Joshua Bell Impersonator robs hotel room of world-famous Violinist by Leticia Marie Sanchez HELLO. MY NAME IS JOSHUA BELL. CAN SOMEONE GIVE ME A VIOLIN? OR A ROLEX? THANKS. So while Joshua Bell is performing the Brahms Concerto with the London Philharmonic in Zaragoza, Spain, a man goes to the front desk of his hotel claiming to be the world-famous violinist. The Hotel clerk does not bother checking the guy’s ID. (Ever try Google Image, buddy?) The hotel hands over the key to Joshua Bell’s room to a man off the street while poor Bell fiddles his heart out on stage. The thief no doubt could not wait to get his sticky fingers on Bell’s 1713 Stradivarius, worth about 4 million dollars. But, unlike the thief, Bell was actually working that

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The Banksy Self-Destructing Art Mystery

The Banksy Self-Destructing Art Mystery by Leticia Marie Sanchez Last week in London, after being sold for 1.4 million dollars at auction, a Banksy painting self-destructed. Banksy’s “Girl with a Balloon” had just sold at Sotheby’s when a hidden shredder inside the painting began to slice and dice the work, to gasps from the auction crowd. Photo Credit: Sotheby’s After the stunt, Banksy posted a quote from Picasso on his Instagram account. “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.” Sotheby’s Senior Director of Contemporary Art stated in a news released, “”It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” But many questions remain. Was Sotheby’s in on the stunt? Was the shredder operated remotely? How was Banksy able to get the perfect video of the stunt which he later posted on his Instagram? Some speculate that a curly-haired man at the auction videotaping

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San Francisco art heist: “The Preppy Sockless Picasso Thief”

  Flashback to 2011 when a Picasso sketch was stolen by a man who preferred to go sockless.. Who: Preppy Sockless Picasso Thief What: Steals Picasso 1962 sketch ““Tête de femme,” valued at $275,000 before heading to party in Napa Where: San Francisco’s Weinstein Gallery at Geary and Powell Streets When: Tuesday the 5th of July, 2011 The man calmly removed the sketch from the wall of the gallery, wrapped it newspaper, and then walked out into the crowds at Union Square. The brazen Picasso pilferer then hopped into a taxi, carefree as a lark, to join friends at a party in Napa, before being caught by police, who had caught his image from a security camera at a restaurant near the gallery. For more on the story, please read: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/08/MNC41K7JHQ.DTL

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