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Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

In the News: Missing Klimt painting discovered in the wall of Italian art gallery

In the News: Missing Klimt painting discovered in the wall of Italian art gallery by Leticia Marie Sanchez The long-lost “Portrait of a Lady” by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt was found hidden in a wall of the Ricci Oddi Modern Art Gallery in Piacenza. The gallery announced that experts deemed the painting to be an authentic work by Klimt. Unbelievably, while gardeners were cleaning ivy off a wall, they discovered the Art Nouveau painting concealed by a trash bag. How the painting ended up in the wall remains a mystery. Presumed to have been stolen, the painting disappeared from the gallery during a building renovation in 1997. Adding to the mystery, the painting’s frame was discovered near the gallery’s skylight after the work vanished, leading some to believe that art thieves could have entered and left through the skylight. The

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Picasso and Monets– burnt to a crisp?

 Picasso and Monets—Burnt To a Crisp? by Leticia Marie Sanchez Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered Trademark Left:  Matisse, Reading Girl in White and Yellow(1919) Ed. Note: This article first appeared on Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2016 Will she ever see the light of day? Carmelized Monet. No, this is not a trendy Crème Brule whipped up by a chef obsessed with molecular gastronomy, but quite possibly one of the most heinous art crimes covered by Cultural Cocktail Hour. Olga Dogaru, mother of art thief Radu Dogaru, confessed to using her oven to set ablaze seven masterpieces valued at between 100 and 200 million Euros including works by Picasso, Matisse, Gaugin (and two by Monet) as if they were no more than slices of pizza. Dogaru’s son Radu was the ringleader of a group of six Romanian art thieves who broke into

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The 120K Banana At Art Basel Miami

by Leticia Marie Sanchez Has the Contemporary Art world Gone bananas? At Art Basel Miami this week, a banana duct-taped to a wall sold for $120,000. Entitled “Comedian,” the piece was created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. Then, someone ate the banana. Artist David Datuna devoured the banana before being escorted away by security guards. However, according to Lucien Terras, the director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, which represented the work, Datuna’s action did not devalue the work. Teras stated. “He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea.”  You can buy a single banana for 20 cents.  You can buy Duct Tape for $4.99 But apparently, foolishness is priceless. Call me old fashioned, but I just don’t get the a-peel, pun intended! For the Full Story please read:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2019/12/08/rogue-artist-ate-duct-taped-banana-art-basel-its-performance-he-said/#comments-wrapper  

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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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