Friday, May 21, 2010
Matisse's Pastoral was stolen from the Paris Museum of Modern Art on Thursday at 4 in the morning along with four other major works estimated to be valued at over $100 mil. Police don't know if it was an individual or a gang organized heist as the thief entered through a side window, cleanly sliced five painting from their frames and was gone in a flash. It was hours before they discovered the theft. We are fascinated by stories of art theft, stuff we're not allowed to even touch, much less steal, but not as much as the Europeans are. For them it's different. Here's the reason I bring it up.
If this were to happen in the US everyone would be ranting about security, looking for somewhere to place the blame, talking about insurance, an outrage. But the as the BBC reports, the Deputy culture secretary for the City of Paris saw things differently as do most Parisians I'll wager:
"To get into the museum by disassembling a window, choose five specific works and then slip out unnoticed by the guards. That is quite impressive." (my bold)
Can you just imagine a US paper describing any heist as "impressive", with a hint of admiration in their voice? Mais non! Because Americans are too politically naive, too lacking in an appreciation of finesse, a light touch, to appreciate the genius, the simple artistry, of a good, clean old fashioned what the hell heist of precious articles only the very wealthy can afford to own. And why no love here for the thieves? Well, because deep down most Americans feel robbed these days. Recent american heists of note (the looting of Treasury to bail out Wall Street, shenanigans of Bernie Madoff, etc.) are all rather tawdry, clunky. No class or artistry there. No deftness. No vicarious sense of peasant class rebellion. Just greed, deception, stupidity, and a willfully ignorant, asleep at the wheel, wimpy, scared populace.
Yet another reason why I can't wait til I can afford to live in Paris for an extended period of time.... (dreamy eyed now.....floating off....)
Here's a nice quote from my new pal John G. Excellent food for thought, and I may steal it from him.
"What if everything you thought to be true about life (or whatever) turned out not to be true? When would you want to know?
That's just bril if you ask me..