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Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Stolen Art Watch, Dealer Hands Back Stolen Matisse As Bergen Museum Hit Again For Another Chinese Haul

 

Thieves hit Bergen museum, again

 Art thieves described as “professional” and extremely goal-oriented struck an art museum in Bergen over the weekend for the  second time in three years. They made off with another haul of valuable Chinese antiques in porcelain, jade, bronze and paper.

“The thieves operated quickly, effectively and professionally,” Erlend Høyersten, director of the city’s group of art museums (Kunstmuseene i Bergen), told newspaper Aftenposten. “It’s entirely clear that they knew what they were after.”
Høyersten thinks the thieves had a “shopping list” of sorts when they hit the group’s Permanenten Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseum, and likely were hired by carry out the theft by clients keen on obtaining Chinese artifacts. The museum’s Chinese collection is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, originally containing around 2,500 items that were donated to the museum by Norwegian adventurer and general Johan Wilhelm Normann Munthe, who died in 1935.
Around 56 items in the collection disappeared in 2010 when the museum known mostly as Permanenten was the target of another break-in. This time the thieves broke into the museum around 5am on Saturday, with surveillance cameras picking up photos of two men wearing high-beam headlights and using crowbars to smash into glass cases. They quickly assembled items into cartons and fled within minutes.
Police told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) during the weekend that they also were investigating two mysterious car fires in Bergen reported about the same time early Saturday morning. The fires were considered unusual, and possibly timed to divert police attention from the museum theft to help the thieves get away.
The museum has published a series of photos on its website describing the art that was stolen (external link, in Norwegian, but click on the photo to see others). Some of the large pieces in the museum’s collection are up to 4,000 years old, but the thieves concentrated on small items that were easier to handle and which are believed to be popular on the international market.
Herman Friele, former mayor of Bergen, was upset by the latest museum theft and blamed poor security at the museum. “It’s a shame that we haven’t managed to take better care of this collection,” Friele told newspaper Bergens Tidende. “It’s incomprehensible that we’re so naive that we haven’t learned from the first break-in. We almost deserved to be robbed again.”
Bergens Tidende wrote just last month that the museum still hasn’t determined the value of the loss from the robbery in 2010, and has filed no insurance claim over it. Friele accused museum officials of being too passive, and urged the museum’s board of directors to demand improvements.

Matisse stolen in Stockholm found in UK

 A Matisse painting stolen 25 years ago from the Museum of Modern Art (Moderna museet) in Stockholm has turned up in the UK, where a dealer had hoped to sell it on behalf of an elderly Polish client, it emerged on Monday.

 Henri Matisse's "Le Jardin", an oil on canvas from 1920 that is now worth about $1 million (€760,000), was found when art dealer Charles Roberts ran it through a global database of stolen art -- standard practice before a sale.

The team at the Art Loss Register quickly identified the painting as the one stolen from the Swedish museum on May 11, 1987, when a burglar broke in with a sledgehammer and made off with the artwork in the early hours of the morning.

Several attempts were made to ransom the painting or sell it back to the museum for a huge sum, according to reports at the time, but the museum refused, and the trail went cold -- until last month.

Within a few days of matching the Matisse with the stolen painting on the database, a specialist had taken possession of the work and put it in his safe, where it is now awaiting delivery to the Swedish museum.

Roberts, who runs Charles Fine Art in Essex, east of London, said he had been asked to sell the painting by an elderly man in Poland who had owned it since the 1990s and now wanted to raise money for his grandchildren.

Given that the dealer did not know who owned the Matisse before that, Roberts ran it through the Art Loss Register to check its provenance.

"I didn't anticipate hearing that it had been stolen. It came as quite a shock to find that out," Roberts told AFP.

"It would have been good all round, but unfortunately it wasn't to be. As soon as I was informed of its status there was no question about doing anything but returning it."

The Polish man had bought it "in good faith", Roberts said, and when he told him it was stolen and could not be sold, the man "was bewildered, taken aback, although he did say, 'So it definitely is a real one?'"

The director of the Swedish museum at the time of the theft had told reporters that the painting was too well-known to sell on the open market, and this is likely why it had been missing for so long.

Christopher A. Marinello, the art recovery specialist and lawyer who has locked the work in his safe, said:

"Stolen artwork has no real value in the legitimate marketplace and will eventually resurface.... It's just a matter of waiting it out."

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Art Loss Register strikes again. Charlie Roberts should have contacted the Moderna Museet Museum in Stockholm, Sweden himself to say he had recovered the Matisse and asked for a finders fee for his due diligence. Now The Art Loss Register will hand the Moderna Museet Museum in Stockholm, Sweden a bill for $240,000, which is thew standard fee of 20% plus 20% vat up to the first million and 15% plus 20% vat thereafter.If the Moderna Museet Museum in Stockholm, Sweden refuses to pay then The Art Loss Register will threaten legal action to sue and harass and badger the Moderna Museet Museum in Stockholm, Sweden until it either pays up or fights through the courts.

The Art Loss Register never, I repeat never shares any of its ill-gotten fee's and poor old Charlie Roberts joins the long line of disgruntled dealers who have fallen prey to the Art Loss Register scam. This is why The Art Loss Register is despised throughout the Art Industry.

Anonymous said...

Art Loss Register Fee and Costs explained:


8. FEES AND COSTS
8.1 Either party shall promptly notify the other in the event that any recovery of an Object that has been registered as stolen occurs. Where ALR has played a role in the recovery of any Object, ALR shall be entitled to a Recovery Fee based on the Fair Market Value of the Object at the time of recovery. In the event that the Client recovers property, which was not registered but nevertheless recovered by or identified by the Client as a consequence of efforts and/or information from ALR, the Client shall also pay a recovery fee to the ALR. If an Object is recovered at the same time as another Object (or Objects) in respect of which the Client has suffered financial loss as a consequence of their theft or loss (whether or not registered with ALR) the Recovery Fee will be based upon the aggregate value of the Objects located.
8.2 Fair Market Value
The Client’s obligation to pay a Recovery Fee under the terms of this contract arises immediately upon the formation of this contract. The fee shall be calculated as follows after determination of the Fair Market Value: twenty percent (20%). To determine the Recovery Fee ALR will:
(a.) Upon recovery of an Object promptly seek a qualified appraisal of the Fair Market Value of any recovered Object (“Appraisal”). The Client agrees to co-operate and respond to reasonable requests for information for the purposes of the Appraisal.
(b.) On receipt ALR will submit the Appraisal to the Client.
(c.) Within thirty (30) calendar days the Client will accept or contest the Appraisal. A failure to respond within that time will be deemed an acceptance of the Appraisal by the Client.
Should the Client wish to contest the Appraisal the Client shall give written notice to ALR, and the parties will then jointly apply to the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers for a further and final appraisal (“the Final Determination”). The cost of this procedure shall be the responsibility of the Client and the Final Determination shall be conclusively binding on both parties.
(d.) The Recovery Fee shall be payable within thirty days of acceptance or deemed acceptance of the Appraisal, or in the event of an application to the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers within fifteen days from receipt of the Final Determination.
8.3 Prevention Fee
In the event that the Recovery of an Object by ALR averts the settlement or payment of any claim, refund, or restitution of whatsoever nature by the Client, and/or in the event that the Recovery averts or reverses any award of damages or costs or restitution of whatsoever nature against the Client, ALR shall be entitled to be paid a Prevention Fee by the Client. The Prevention Fee shall be calculated in the same way and be paid at the same time as if a Recovery Fee were being charged.
8.4 Post Recovery Disposition
Provided that it is not contrary to the terms of the Client’s relationship with the Owner, ALR is hereby appointed and designated to act on behalf of the Client with respect to the disposition of any recovered Object where ALR is entitled to a Recovery Fee or a Prevention Fee.
8.5 Additional Costs
ALR shall also be entitled to recover from the Client any reasonable additional costs or expenses incurred by ALR (including the payment of rewards authorised by the Client) in connection with either the Recovery, disposition or attempted disposition of a registered Object, or any other Object in respect of which the Client has suffered financial loss as a consequence of its theft or loss. In the event that the Client does not have full title to the recovery, ALR will use its best endeavours to obtain the agreement of any other parties with an interest. Such additional costs will be paid within 28 days of the sending of an invoice by ALR to the Client.

Anonymous said...

8.6 Location Fee
8.6.1 In addition to the fee ALR shall be entitled to remuneration by way of a Location Fee upon the discovery or identification by them and notification to the Client of the location of any Object (hereafter “Location”) registered with it. A Location Fee shall also be payable by the Client to ALR when the Object is discovered or identified by ALR when:
(a.) the notification of the Location is first received by the Client from ALR even though the Object may have been earlier located by another person or organisation; or
(b.) the notification is first made to the Client through the medium of another person or organisation
ALR shall also be entitled to a Location Fee for the Location of any other Object in respect of which the Client has suffered financial loss as a consequence of its theft or loss. The Client’s obligation to pay any Location Fee under the terms of this contract arises immediately upon the formation of this contract.
8.6.2 The Location Fee is 5% of the value of the Object.
8.6.3 If the Object is located at the same time as another Object or Objects in respect of which the Client has suffered financial loss as a consequence of their theft or loss (whether registered with ALR or not) the Location Fee will be based upon the aggregate value of the Objects located.
8.6.4 For the purposes of calculation of the Location Fee the value of the Object is to be determined as follows:
i. Upon the location of an Object, ALR will promptly seek a qualified appraisal of the fair market value of any located Object (“the Appraisal”). The Client agrees to co-operate and respond to reasonable requests for information for the purposes of the Appraisal.
ii. On receipt ALR will submit the Appraisal to the Client.
iii. The Client then has thirty calendar days within which to accept or contest the Appraisal. A failure to respond within that time will be deemed an acceptance of the Appraisal by the Client.
iv. Should the Client wish to contest the Appraisal the Client shall give written notice to ALR, and the parties will then jointly apply to the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers for a further and final appraisal (“the Final Determination”). The cost of this procedure shall be the responsibility of the Client. The Final Determination shall be conclusively binding on both parties.
8.6.5 The Location Fee shall be payable within thirty days of acceptance or deemed acceptance of the Appraisal, or in the event of an application to the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers within fifteen days from receipt of the Final Determination

9. INTEREST ON LATE PAYMENT
In the event that payment is not made in accordance with and at the times set out in these Terms and Conditions, interest shall become payable on all sums outstanding from the date that they become due until payment to ALR at the Bank of England base rate prevailing from time to time plus 3%.

Anonymous said...

Bergen Museum theft, Irish boys,Rathkeale Rovers
strike again

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
Wrong you are. Art Loss did this one pro bono. You can look it up...it means free. See evidence here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20931437

Maranello is not Julian Radcliffe. I suggest you call him and ask as he is very approachable. He handled my case successfully despite knowing that I could not pay. I gave him one of my paintings as a token of my thanks.

Perhaps you should check your facts before making such statements.