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Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Stolen Art Watch, Arthur Brand Reluctantly Listens To Lawyers, Stays In Holland While Oscar Wilde Ring Handed Back In Uk

Today, December 4th 2019, the Oscar Wilde ring recovered by Arthur Brand was officially handed back to the Oxford College from where it was stolen from back in 2002.

Arthur Brand, never one to miss a media circus and incert himself into the narrative, has remained in Holland, after being spooked by the Art Hostage article questioning the legality in the recovery of the Oscar Wilde ring.
Alternatively, Arthur Brand was advised to stay away from the Oscar Wilde ring handover by lawyers.

Having read the UK 1968 Theft Act I can see at least two sections of the law which Arthur Brand Brand might have broken, intentionally, or unintentionally.
Offences relating to goods stolen etc.
22 Handling stolen goods.

(1)A person handles stolen goods if (otherwise than in the course of the stealing) knowing or believing them to be stolen goods he dishonestly receives the goods, or dishonestly undertakes or assists in their retention, removal, disposal or realisation by or for the benefit of another person, or if he arranges to do so.

(2)A person guilty of handling stolen goods shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
23 Advertising rewards for return of goods stolen or lost.

Where any public advertisement of a reward for the return of any goods which have been stolen or lost uses any words to the effect that no questions will be asked, or that the person producing the goods will be safe from apprehension or inquiry, or that any money paid for the purchase of the goods or advanced by way of loan on them will be repaid, the person advertising the reward and any person who prints or publishes the advertisement shall on summary conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding [F18level 3 on the standard scale.]
Clearly, Arthur Brand breaches the "removal and retention" in section 22 (1) 

Arthur Brand says he recovered the Oscar Willde ring in Hatton Garden London, then took it back to Holland, where it was then bought back from Holland for todays handover at the Oxford College.

Even if Police gave Arthur Brand express permission to take the recovered Oscar Wilde ring back to Holland, this does not prevent the breaking of the law itself.

These actions, however innocent, even with the best intentions, in my humble view breach sections 22 and 23 of the UK 1968 Theft Act and may also breach the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act.

It reminds me of the story about a person breaking into a drug store to steal medicine vital for their wife. The verdict was a window broken, but a life saved.

In this case, Arthur Brand broke the law but saved the Oscar Wilde ring.

I await with baited breath the response of Mr Arthur Brand.

Furthermore, the alter-ego of Chris Marinello, Frank Veritas, has posted an interesting response to the Oscar Wilde ring being handed back today:

Oscar Wilde was a pervert and anyone who thinks he was a lovely man is suspect.

Funny old world.......................................... 

Oscar Wilde's stolen friendship ring returned to Magdalen College

A ring Oscar Wilde once gifted to a friend has been returned to an Oxford University college 17 years after it was stolen.
The 18-carat gold friendship ring was taken from Magdalen College in 2002 and tracked down by Dutch art detective Arthur Brand.
Wilde was a student at the college and gave the ring to William Ward in 1876.
Prof Sir David Clary, president of Magdalen, said he was "delighted" the ring had come home.

Mr Brand, who was unable to attend the presentation, procured it with the help of commodity broker George Crump, who had "knowledge of the London criminal underworld", The Telegraph reported.

The art detective previously said there were "very strong indications" the ring was taken in the Hatton Garden jewellery raid in 2015.
He said: "We heard these rumours a few weeks after the robbery. We heard very strong rumours it was linked to this theft.
"It ended up in the hands of a person who nearly had a heart attack when they realised it was Oscar Wilde's ring."

Mr Crump explained to the BBC that he "got the word out" about the ring among his contacts.
"I didn't think it would come back - it was impossible - and basically, lo and behold, A went to B, to C, to D, down the line," he said.

"It was recovered in Hatton Garden which was an unbelievable moment.
"I was absolutely astonished. A small thing like that that could have been chucked away and lost forever. A needle in a haystack."

College bursar Mark Blandford-Baker said: "We'd long given it up as having been melted down".
Sir David said: "We thought it had disappeared, so it was a surprise when we heard it had been found.
"We could hardly believe it.... We're very grateful to everyone who helped bring the ring back."


Arthur said...

You are funny Paul :-)

Anyway I appreciate that you expose Frank Veritas as Chris Marinello. We all knew it was him but you had the proof, as you talk to Marinello on the phone on a weekly basis, and you have the ip-addresses. I really appreciate that you now openly state it.

About me staying away: Paul, you know that I have the flu, I wrote that to you when you asked for it. I had to cancel not only this event but some more.

But it makes a funny story, I have to give you that :)

Arthur said...

Oh, and talking about Veritas: me and someone else have officialy asked lawyers to demand from Twitter the ip-address of him, under American and European law. It has been granted already by a judge.

One other thing Paul before I go back to work: I never broke any law, not even with good intentions. You on the other hand got arrested for extortion and benefit-fraud, but you probably did that with the best intentions. :-))))))))))))))

Art Hostage said...

Right, this is me, Art Hostage commenting here.

Arthur, the most dangerous place on Earth is the four feet between you and a journalist or TV camera lol.

You say you have Man Flu, let me tell you, there is nothing on this earth that would have prevented you attending the Oscar Wilde ring handover, you would walk over broken glass, through fire to do an interview and promote youself.

I say this with no malice aforethought as I myself have a huge ego.

Arthur, please would you enlighten us with answers to these questions:

What police force gave you permission to take the Oscar Wilde ring back to Holland?

Who bought the Oscar Wilde ring back to the UK and when?

Do you agree that even with Police permission, you could have breached several sections of the 1968 Theft Act?

I have said it before, to Chris himself, and will say it again,
Chris Marinello is the Lion from the film Wizard of Oz, no courage to stand up and be counted, but applies his opinions behind a cloak of respectability.

Chris Marinello is a good Lawyer who recovers stolen art presented to him, handed to him on a silver platter when it is either being sold at auction, or being disputed ownership.

The job of recovering stolen art without setting up people, Police stings and arrests has never been a remit of Chris Marinello.

If an informant wants to inform on criminals then Chris will pass that to Police, however, if anyone wants to negociate a recovery of stolen art without arrests and also wants paying for this, then Chris Marinello will walk away if he cannot report to Police.

Arthur, you have played your cards well up until now and avoided scrutiny.
However, one false move and authorites will pounce, as recovering stolen art without arrests makes authorites look bad, despite the cultural significance of some stolen art.

Art Hostage

Arthur said...

Paul, what a long response!

You are saying quite a lot of stuff about your ex-best friend Chris Marinello... He probably won't like that, so that marriage is over I gues...

To answer your questions and I have stated that before on your great blog:

The recovery of the ring was before, during and afterwards done in full knowledge of the great English police, who arrested you a couple of times in the past. As Oxford had no time to receive the ring, I was allowed to keep the ring in my possession. There was no criminal investigation anymore as the thief was convicted in 2002 and the ring was thought to have been melted down. If there is no criminal investigation, an object can not be delivered to the police but to the rightful owner, in this case Oxford.

Oxford, the police in both the Netherlands and England all were notified of the recovery of the ring, the place of where it was and when the handover would take place...

Everybody is happy except for Chris/Frank and you. You know what makes a real man Paul: if you could say for once... Gee Art, well done!

Art Hostage said...

I will say well done for every recovery of stolen art you have made.
Furthermore, you have made all these recoveries without arrests and without Police scrutiny, for that an even bigger well done.

You are certainly a better man than I, because if I tried to recover stolen art in the manner in which you do, I would be arrested, charged and sent to trial in a "New York minute".

You do have the advantege of being in Holland where the Police seem to be much more relaxed about stolen art bring recovered without scrutiny than here in the UK.

My only critisism would be that you act like you are the good guy amongst all the cloak and dagger, but in reality it is a case of knowing criminals who will be willing to hand back stolen art, and according to you, do so without payments.

If I asked criminals to hand back stolen art free of charge they would tell me to "Go fuck myself"

The real test would be if you tried to recover the Cezanne stolen from the Ashmolean Museum, whereby the handler, according to Charlie Hill, wants 20,000 euros to hand it back, and authorities have refused, despite it being worth $10 million plus.

There are many stolen artworks out there all ready to be handed back but problems arise when the handlers want paying and authorites want arrests.

Finally, Arthur, I take my hat off to you being able to navigate the minefield of stolen art recovery.

Art Hostage

Arthur said...


Thanks for those half-compliments...

In many cases I track down stolen art in hands of people who have no idea, like those Visigothic stones I recovered earlier this year in England. They had been sold as 'garden-ornaments' to an English noble family. The pieces originated from Spain. I did not give these people a hard time. First of all were they innocent, second if you make it complicated for them, no stolen art will ever come back. It will be thrown in the Thames...

The ring of Oscar Wilde was similar. Stolen in 2015 again, from Hatton Garden, not recognised for what it was (just a Victorian ring with Russian inscription) and though many hands eventually came in hands of an innocent couple.

In these two cases it is enough to tell these people: you might have done nothing wrong, but if you get rid of it, you ARE doing something wrong. So gimme the stuff and I keep your name out.

Of course in some cases (like the Picasso) the loot is in hands of criminals, but in most cases not anymore in the hands of the original thiefs (it was 20 year ago when the theft took place). You know as good as I know that this stuff is beiung used as partial payment in drug and/ or armdeals. In some cases the receivers have no clue about the origin. When I track them down they panick. Getting rid of me is not that easy... So they either have to deal with me or the police. And that choice is easy... They know they can not sell the stuff and to get out of prblems, they give it back. What other choice do they have?

Don't forget that in these cases nobody was murdered, it was just an ordinairy theft. The current owners, even if they are criminals, had nothing to with the original theft, sometimes did not even know that the stuff was 'hot'. So when I can get it back without further questions, in some cases they say: thanks. And of course there are cases in which they say: fuck off...

Art Hostage said...

Arthur, and to all those concerned about art related crime.
I have no primary, hard evidence, none at all that Chris Marinello is Frank Veritas.
The IP addresses do not, I repeat, do not, prove anything other than Chris Marinello has left comments on my blog posts.
I do however, know Chris Marinello has left comments on my blog and can prove that fact.
I used the term alter ego about Chris Mainello in a way that meant the opinions of Chris Marinello are being expressed by Frank Veritas and therefore the possibility that Frank Veritas could be Chirs Marinello was raised.
Again, with regards actual primary hard evidence, I do not have, and never have had any evidence that Chris Marinello is Frank Veritas and the linked IP Addresses only relate to comments posted on my blog Art Hostage.

Perhaps it would be time for Frank Veritas to reveal himself and confirm he is not Chris Marinello.

Finally, the objections to Arthur Brand relate to the methods employed in recovering stolen art and are not directed in a personal manner towards Arthur Brand.

Also, if we look behind Arthur Brand, lurking in the shadows are Dick Ellis, Michel Van Rijn, William Veres and others who benefit from Arthur Brand being the public face.

I have said it before and will say it again
"When the time comes, Dick Ellis, Michel Van Rijn, William Veres etc will throw Arthur Brand to the Wolves in a heartbeat"

Art Hostage

Art Hostage said...

There is a right old ding-dong going on in the twitter world.
Frank Veritas has posted some tweets which are interesting, to say the least.

Frank Veritas‏ @FrankVTruth
Today I received a threatening letter from a law firm here in Switzerland. I am pleased to comply with their request as I believe in free and fair speech and have nothing to hide. My given name is Franz and surname is Veritas. I live and work in Zug.
04:55 - 5 déc. 2019
1 réponse 0 Retweet 0 j'aime
Nouvelle conversation
1. Frank Veritas‏ @FrankVTruth 5 minil y a 5 minutes
I learned English from an early age and lived with relatives in the New Jersey/NY area for 10 years. I am not using a proxy and am not Paul "Art Hostage" Turbo nor am I Chris Marinello, Tom Cremers, Thomas Flynn, Elliott Lee, or anyone else. I am Franz "Frank" Veritas.
1 réponse 0 Retweet 0 j'aime
• • Frank Veritas‏ @FrankVTruth 5 minil y a 5 minutes
I work at a university and have access to many computers. My current IP address is I write about art crime and theft and because of this I come across some really slippery characters. I am critical of hypocrites and posers who pretend they are art world heroes.
1 réponse 0 Retweet 0 j'aime
• • Frank Veritas‏ @FrankVTruth 6 sil y a 6 secondes
I have half a mind to discontinue this Twitter page and focus on a book I am writing which will have much more exposure. I plan on revealing the methods of people like Arthur "the Brand" and others. I have blocked Mr. Brand but he keeps creating fake IDs to attack me.
1 réponse 0 Retweet 0 j'aime
• • Frank Veritas‏ @FrankVTruth 5 sil y a 5 secondes
What is this guy hiding? According to my sources, a lot. Soon to be revealed one way or another. I will not be silenced.
Frank Veritas‏ @FrankVTruth
Clearly, someone is attempting to hack into my account so I am inclined to shut this down and re open my page. I have saved every one of Arthur Brand's uneducated and, possibly, actionable comments on my page so not to worry.

05:03 - 5 déc. 2019

Arthur said...


Nobody is lurking in my shadows and nobody trows me under the train, believe me...

Frank is starting to get nervoues, that's great

Arthur said...

Frankie is spreading lies about a lot of people, including me. There is no Franz Veritas. I hate anonymous trolls who spread lies and I told him that I come after him.
He should know that acctacking people with plain lies might mean that these people will defend themselves. And they have all the right to do so...

Frankie, you get what you asked for.

My favorite line:

If someone hates you without that reason, give that motherfucker a reason...

Arthur said...

This guy talks about free speech... He just attacks people with plain lies and that is against the law, it's called libel. Nothing to do with free speech...

But he gets nervous now.