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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Stolen Art Watch, Monet Attacker Shannon Reaps Benefit of Deadlocked Dublin Jury


Above is the damaged 'Argenteuil Basin with a single Sailboat'

Man in Monet trial released on bail
A man accused of vandalising a €10 million Claude Monet painting is to be released on bail after a jury failed to reach agreement on a verdict.
-Andrew Shannon, 48, denied causing criminal damage to the painting at the National Gallery of Ireland on 29 June, 2012.
-Judge Desmond Hogan remanded Mr Shannon in custody with consent to bail, pending an independent surety to be lodged with prison authorities today.
-The accused entered into his own bond of €1,000, while his nephew, William Noel Shannon, supplied an independent surety of €5,000.
€3,000 of this is to be paid in cash, while the remainder must remain in William Noel Shannon's bank account. 
-Andrew Shannon has been ordered not to attempt to enter the National Gallery of Ireland or the National Museum.
He must also reside at his home address of Willans Way, Ongar, Dublin 15 and observe a curfew of midnight to 7am.
-The accused was told to surrender his passport.
He must sign on at Blanchardstown Garda Station three times a week.
Yesterday, the jury in the trial was discharged when it reached deadlock after almost nine hours of deliberation.
Judge Hogan said Mr Shannon was entitled to apply for bail as he had been in custody for 18 months.
-He adjourned the matter until 13 January when it is expected a new trial date will be set.
The 1874 painting, entitled Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat, is valued at €10 million.

Jury reaches ‘deadlock’ in €10m Monet painting vandalism case

A jury have been discharged after failing to reach a verdict in the trial of a man accused of vandalising a €10 million Claude Monet painting at the National Gallery of Ireland.

Andrew Shannon (48) of Willans Way, Ongar, Dublin 15, pleaded not guilty to causing criminal damage to the painting on June 29, 2012.
He claimed he felt weak and “collapsed” against the painting because of his heart condition.
After deliberating for just under nine hours on the ninth day of the trial, the jury foreman at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court said it had reached a deadlock.
Judge Desmond Hogan thanked the jury of six women and five men for the attention they had given during the course of the trial.
He remanded Shannon in custody pending a bail application tomorrow.
Judge Hogan said Mr Shannon was entitled to apply for bail.
During the trial, the jury saw extensive CCTV footage from the moment Mr Shannon entered the gallery until he was brought out by paramedics a little over half an hour later.
Kerida Naidoo BL, prosecuting, said that Mr Shannon didn't stop to look at other art work until he got to the room on the first floor where the Monet painting was hanging.
Mr Shannon, who was carrying a can of paint stripper in a plastic bag, is seen on CCTV looking at the Monet, leaving the room, coming back, walking half way around and then cutting across the room diagonally straight towards the painting.
“It has all the hallmarks of a man who is looking for a target and spots it,” said Mr Naidoo.
Two tourists standing a few feet away from the painting said they saw Mr Shannon lunge at the painting with his clenched fist “like a hammer”.
Michael Williams and his wife Dr Toni Ashton were visiting Ireland from New Zealand at the time and travelled back to give evidence at the trial.
Mr William said the incident seemed “deliberate” and “planned”.
Mr Shannon told them he had been feeling faint and had collapsed against the painting, but Mr Williams said he felt “he had his excuse ready to go.”
He grabbed Mr Shannon's shoulder and manoeuvred him into the middle of the room “so he couldn't do any more damage.”
Christiaan Clotworthy, head of security at the National Gallery, said the damage to the painting was “no accident”.
The jury heard that the painting was hit such a blow that it set off alarms on artworks on the other side of the wall.
A conservator at the National Gallery told the jury that the harsh, clean breaks in the canvas indicate the painting was struck with “speed and force”.
Elline Von Monschaw said the painting was left with several horizontal, vertical and diagonal rips and tears, and that particles of paint had been splattered over a large area of the backing board.
She said it was a “big challenge” to repair the painting but that they hope to get it back on public display within a year.
When a security guard saw the damaged painting and said to Mr Shannon, “Jesus, what have you done?”, the accused replied, “I want to get out of here.”
A paramedic who tested Mr Shannon's vital signs at the scene said his condition seemed “very stable” and gave no cause for concern.
Mr Shannon told the medic that he was carrying the can of paint stripper because of his work as a French polisher.
An ECG heart test performed on him in an ambulance en route to St James's Hospital from the gallery was normal.
Mr Shannon was arrested immediately after he was discharged from hospital on the day of the incident.
He told gardaí he had a “serious heart condition” and had five heart attacks in the last five or six years. He said his heart problems dated back to a car accident 15 years previously when his chest had been crushed.
The court heard Mr Shannon had quadruple bypass surgery a year after the incident.
Consultant surgeon Nicholas Walcot said he supervised coronary surgery on Mr Shannon last July when he had 90 per cent blockages in all three major vessels of the heart.
Asked for his expert opinion on the event in the gallery, Mr Walcot said Mr Shannon getting up and walking away was “a little bit inconsistent”.
He said dizziness was not a symptom of Mr Shannon's heart condition, and that if he had collapsed, he would have “lost consciousness and stayed down”.
Brendan Grehan SC, defending, said it was an “amazing coincidence” that someone who claimed he had a heart episode went on to have a life-saving quadruple bypass a year later.
In his closing speech, Mr Grehan cited Spike Milligan's epitaph, written in Irish: “Dúirt mé leat go raibh me breoite,” which translates as “I told you I was ill.”
The 1874 painting, entitled Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat, is one of very few paintings by the famous French impressionist in public collection in Ireland.
The Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin has two other paintings by Monet, Lavacourt under Snow and Waterloo Bridge.
Jury in Monet painting trial fail to reach a verdict
 
10 million Claude Monet painting RE: Andrew Shannon hung jury on criminal damage, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, 5-12-13.               Pic shows: Damaged Claude Monet painting worth 10 million which  yesterday (Thurs.) a jury failed to reach a decision on weather  Andrew Shannon was guilty of criminal damage to it at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin in June, 2012.               Pic: Courtpix 
Damaged Claude Monet painting worth €10m which this evening a jury failed to reach a decision on whether Andrew Shannon was guilty of criminal damage to it at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin in June, 2012.
The trial of a Dublin man accused of putting his fist through a Claude Monet painting at the National Gallery has ended with the jury in deadlock.
Andrew Shannon (48) defended a charge of criminal damage by claiming his serious heart condition caused him to “collapse” against the art work on June 29th 2012.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard he had a quadruple bypass a year after the incident.
Experts working to repair the rip in the 1874 impressionist masterpiece, valued at €10 million, hope they will have completed the restoration by next Spring.
The prosecution claimed the damage to Monet's 'Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat' was caused by a deliberate act of vandalism.
One eyewitness, visiting the National Gallery on holiday from New Zealand, gave evidence Andrew Shannon's fist was like a hammer as it struck the painting.
But the defence argued the former French polisher felt faint and collapsed on the art work.
After nearly 9 hours of deliberations spread over three days, the jury's deliberations ended this afternoon in disagreement.
'These things happen' said Judge Des Hogan as he discharged the 11 jurors.
He has remanded Andrew Shannon of Willans Way, Ongar, in custody until tomorrow when the 48 year old will apply for bail.
He has been in custody for the past 18 months while awaiting trial.
In response to today's outcome, the National Gallery of Ireland says it is disappointed that there has been no clarity to any of the involved parties, but says it accepts due process of the law.

Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland said "I would like to praise the staff of the National Gallery for their prompt response to the incident at the time and all our colleagues in the emergency services. In particular, I would like to thank the staff involved for participating and relating to the court as citizens, as much as Gallery employees".

He added that the Conservation Department of the Gallery has undertaken a very complex project to mend and restore the painting.
Note on the Painting
  • Claude Monet (1840 – 1926)
  • ‘Argenteuil Basin with a single Sailboat’, 1874
  • Oil on canvas (55 x 65cm)
  • Signed: lower right: Claude Monet
  • Bequeathed, Edward Martyn Bequest, 1924
  • Collection: National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin
During the Franco-Prussian War Monet was in London, and upon his return in 1871 he moved with his family to Argenteuil. A picturesque, historic town and a developing suburb, Argenteuil was just 15 minutes from Paris by train, and in the second half of the nineteenth century was unrivalled for Sunday trips and pleasure boating. Over the following years Sisley, Renoir, and Pissarro joined Monet to paint in the region of Argenteuil and the surrounding villages. As the once rural areas became increasingly accessible by rail, they became popular weekend retreats for Parisians. These young artists, dedicated to painting contemporary urban bourgeois life, were attracted by this blend of traditional landscape and modernity. Monet acquired a boat, which he turned into a floating studio, and the River Seine and its sailing boats became the principal theme of his paintings. In this picture, the town of Argenteuil can only be glimpsed on the horizon. Light and its effect on the water's surface - captured by distinct, bold brush strokes - is the true subject matter of the painting.

Final Rotterdam art heist suspect arrested in Manchester: report

Friday 06 December 2013

The final suspect in the Rotterdam Kunsthal art theft has been arrested in Manchester, England, Nos television quotes Romanian media as saying.

Adrian Procop is alleged to be one of the two people who actually carried out the heist. Seven valuable paintings, including works by Picasso and Monet, were stolen in the raid on the Rotterdam gallery. None have been recovered.
Two of the other suspects were sentenced to six years and eight months in prison by a Bucharest court last month.
Guilty verdicts
The 29-year-old Radu Dogaru and 25-year-old Eugen D were found guilty of the theft and of membership of a criminal organisation.
Dogaru took part in the robbery in October last year. Eugen D was responsible for transporting the stolen paintings to Romania.
The case against three other defendants is continuing.
 

Final Rotterdam art heist suspect arrested in Manchester: report

Friday 06 December 2013
The final suspect in the Rotterdam Kunsthal art theft has been arrested in Manchester, England, Nos television quotes Romanian media as saying.
Adrian Procop is alleged to be one of the two people who actually carried out the heist. Seven valuable paintings, including works by Picasso and Monet, were stolen in the raid on the Rotterdam gallery. None have been recovered.
Two of the other suspects were sentenced to six years and eight months in prison by a Bucharest court last month.
Guilty verdicts
The 29-year-old Radu Dogaru and 25-year-old Eugen D were found guilty of the theft and of membership of a criminal organisation.
Dogaru took part in the robbery in October last year. Eugen D was responsible for transporting the stolen paintings to Romania.
The case against three other defendants is continuing.
- See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/12/final_rotterdam_art_heist_susp.php#sthash.Z3D72vN5.dpuf

Final Rotterdam art heist suspect arrested in Manchester: report

Friday 06 December 2013
The final suspect in the Rotterdam Kunsthal art theft has been arrested in Manchester, England, Nos television quotes Romanian media as saying.
Adrian Procop is alleged to be one of the two people who actually carried out the heist. Seven valuable paintings, including works by Picasso and Monet, were stolen in the raid on the Rotterdam gallery. None have been recovered.
Two of the other suspects were sentenced to six years and eight months in prison by a Bucharest court last month.
Guilty verdicts
The 29-year-old Radu Dogaru and 25-year-old Eugen D were found guilty of the theft and of membership of a criminal organisation.
Dogaru took part in the robbery in October last year. Eugen D was responsible for transporting the stolen paintings to Romania.
The case against three other defendants is continuing.
- See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/12/final_rotterdam_art_heist_susp.php#sthash.Z3D72vN5.dpuf

Final Rotterdam art heist suspect arrested in Manchester: report

Friday 06 December 2013
The final suspect in the Rotterdam Kunsthal art theft has been arrested in Manchester, England, Nos television quotes Romanian media as saying.
Adrian Procop is alleged to be one of the two people who actually carried out the heist. Seven valuable paintings, including works by Picasso and Monet, were stolen in the raid on the Rotterdam gallery. None have been recovered.
Two of the other suspects were sentenced to six years and eight months in prison by a Bucharest court last month.
Guilty verdicts
The 29-year-old Radu Dogaru and 25-year-old Eugen D were found guilty of the theft and of membership of a criminal organisation.
Dogaru took part in the robbery in October last year. Eugen D was responsible for transporting the stolen paintings to Romania.
The case against three other defendants is continuing.
- See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/12/final_rotterdam_art_heist_susp.php#sthash.Z3D72vN5.dpuf

Final Rotterdam art heist suspect arrested in Manchester: report

Friday 06 December 2013
The final suspect in the Rotterdam Kunsthal art theft has been arrested in Manchester, England, Nos television quotes Romanian media as saying.
Adrian Procop is alleged to be one of the two people who actually carried out the heist. Seven valuable paintings, including works by Picasso and Monet, were stolen in the raid on the Rotterdam gallery. None have been recovered.
Two of the other suspects were sentenced to six years and eight months in prison by a Bucharest court last month.
Guilty verdicts
The 29-year-old Radu Dogaru and 25-year-old Eugen D were found guilty of the theft and of membership of a criminal organisation.
Dogaru took part in the robbery in October last year. Eugen D was responsible for transporting the stolen paintings to Romania.
The case against three other defendants is continuing.
- See more at: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/12/final_rotterdam_art_heist_susp.php#sthash.Z3D72vN5.dpuf

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Stolen Art Watch, Da Vinci Madonna Case Proves Beyond Any Doubt, Have Information About Art Crime,You Will End Up With No Money, No Peace & No Liberty, Never, Ever Talk To Dick Ellis, Mark Dalrymple Or Julian Radcliffe


Duke of Buccleuch, Scottish Police, Mark Dalrymple & Dirty Dick Ellis of   
QUINTONS FARM HOUSE
GROVE LANE
ASHFIELD
STOWMARKET
IP146LZ
 

Exposed

Recovery rate for stolen art as low as 1.5%
Art crime is a low priority for police forces, and concerns surround the Art Loss Register
A police officer searches the Rotterdam Kunsthal after a theft last year
The rate of recovery and successful prosecution in cases of art theft is startlingly low, with one expert putting it at only 1.5% globally, The Art Newspaper has learned, underlining the challenges of identifying and returning stolen works.
The global cost of crimes linked to art and antiques was recently estimated at £3.7bn a year by the UK’s Association of Chief Police Officers. Noah Charney, a professor of art history specialising in art crime and the founder of the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art, which organised a symposium on the subject at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum this month, says that statistics are hard to come by because police forces seldom distinguish between stolen art and other stolen goods. “A Rembrandt is classified with a CD,” he says.

Low priority

At the core of the problem is the low importance that most police forces attach to such crimes; the exception is Italy’s Carabinieri, which claims that its force of 350 officers recovers around 30% of lost art. The theft of property in general “has a low priority in Britain and across Europe”, said Dick Ellis, the former head of the Metropolitan Police’s Art and Antiques Unit, at the symposium. In the UK, for example, the Metropolitan Police has just three officers dedicated to art crime (down from 14 around 20 years ago). In the US, the FBI has around 14 agents trained to investigate art crimes, although they do not work on these exclusively. Attempts to pool information on stolen works to create a comprehensive, international database have failed, largely because of a lack of funding.

Without proper public funding, the onus is on private firms, who charge a recovery fee of as much as 30% of a work’s value. Here, there are also areas of contention, particularly surrounding the issue of paying informers for leads on stolen works. This area is a “legal minefield”, said Claire Hutcheon, the head of the Met’s Art and Antiques Unit. “Art cannot be recovered at any cost,” she said.

Loss of trust

At the centre of the debate about art recovery is the London-based Art Loss Register (ALR), which, under the management of Julian Radcliffe, operates the world’s largest private database of stolen art. Radcliffe says his company has 300,000 items on record (by comparison, Interpol’s Stolen Works of Art database had around 40,000 records at the end of 2011). He says that recovery rates within a couple of years of thefts are “bound to be low” but that around 15% of high-value works will have been recovered after 25 years, with the rates for other types of art and antiques “much lower”. Around 20% of works will never be recovered, he says, as they have probably been destroyed.

The ALR has been under fire recently, however; insurance companies and others have expressed concerns about the quality of information on its database and its recovery practices, including paying informants and charging victims for leads. Radcliffe says that he “never withholds information for a fee”, which he says would be “close to extortion”. He says that if he thinks the ALR has a lead on a stolen work, he tells the police. “[Victims] may then go to the police, but unfortunately may then find that they are not interested,” he says, given the police’s limited resources.

When it comes to paying informants, Radcliffe says that there are times when this is the only way to get the necessary evidence. “There is an important difference between paying a ransom to the thieves themselves, which is unacceptable, and paying an informer, who may have a criminal past but may not be involved in the theft or the handling of the stolen property, [and] who may help to get the item returned and the criminal convicted,” he says.

There have been recent staff defections from the ALR, including the firm’s legal counsel, Chris Marinello, and its finance director, Tony Le Fevre. Radcliffe says that although some staff have left, they have been replaced and that there is “no fundamental change in the business”.

Marinello has founded Art Recovery International, a competing company in London, and says he wants to bring “transparency to the rather murky world of art recovery”. “It is our policy not to pay ransoms, nor do we pay criminals… [which], in my view, creates a market for stolen art,” he says. “There is no reason to make such payments. I have recovered stolen and looted art and resolved title disputes involving art worth more than £200m through ethical and strategic negotiation.”

Alternative systems

Others are not so sure that the profit-based system is best. Mark Dalrymple, a specialist fine-art loss adjuster at London’s Tyler and Co, says: “There is a certain need for an international database. There currently is one [the ALR], but all [parties] would prefer a not-for-profit funded system.”

Dalrymple and Dick Ellis both cite Larmtjänst, a non-profit organisation in Sweden, as an example of a model that could work internationally. The organisation benefits the insurance companies that fund it by assisting in the recovery of property (art accounts for only a small proportion), in co-operation with international law enforcement.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the Association of Chief Police Officers last month launched a working group dedicated to national heritage and cultural property crime. The launch was accompanied by a report; its recommendations included establishing a national database for tackling such crime, with one dedicated officer for each constabulary (there are 43 in the UK).

In support of the initiative, Mike Harlow, the legal and governance director of English Heritage, said: “Heritage crime is not just a financial crime where profits and insurance companies suffer the only loss… this is crime that erases history, threatens the viability of churches, defiles the memory of our war heroes and melts away our great art and artefacts.”

Still missing

Johannes Vermeer, The Concert, around 1658-60 : In one of the most notorious unsolved art-museum robberies, two thieves disguised as police officers stole 13 works from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, on 18 March 1990. It has been described as the greatest art theft in American history. Works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Degas and Manet were stolen, the most valuable being Vermeer’s The Concert. The value of all the missing works has most recently been estimated at around $500m, with the Vermeer accounting for around $200m of the total. The latest opinion is that the works are in either Boston or Ireland.

Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, 1969-70: The Henry Moore Foundation received an insurance payment of £3m for Reclining Figure, which was stolen in December 2005 from its site in Hertfordshire, north of London. The fear is that the two-tonne sculpture has been melted down for its scrap value, which would be just a few thousand pounds. It might be possible to make another cast, but this would raise legal and technical difficulties and is unlikely.

Jean-Baptiste Oudry, The White Duck, 1753 : This oil painting by the French Rococo painter Jean-Baptiste Oudry is still missing after it was stolen from Houghton Hall, Norfolk, in 1992. Considered to be the artist’s masterpiece, the work was the most significant item taken from the home of the Marquess of Cholmondeley (three other paintings, two Louis XVI clocks and a Louis XVI Sèvres vase by Antoine Dulac were also among the hoard). The painting was valued at £5m in 1992.