Monday, 6 April 2009

Stealing beauty

The Guardian reports on 'The Gardner Heist' and other art theft cases.
As audacious art heists go, the theft of da Vinci's Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911 ranks pretty high. The work was stolen after an Italian employee of the museum, Vincenzo Peruggia, who believed the work should be reclaimed by his country, simply slipped it under his jacket and walked out of the door. Peruggia kept the painting in his apartment for two years and was caught after trying to offload it to an Italian museum; he was jailed for just a few months and was hailed a hero by the Italian public. French poet Guillaume Apollinaire and Pablo Picasso were both taken in for questioning by police, but were released without charge. The work finally made its way back to the Louvre in 1913.

2008 has just published Art market trends 2008. Last year, the top-10 artists in terms of turnover at auction were: Picasso, Bacon, Warhol, Hirst, Monet, Giacometti, Richter, Degas, Fontana, and Klein. The list shows how post-war art has become the most important section of the market. (Koons, Basquiat, Freud, Prince, and Rothko can all be found between places 11 and 20.)

Thursday, 2 April 2009

A thing of beauty

The Economist has a "special report on the rich", which includes an article on art prices. Read it here.