Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Take the Monet and run

Art thieves stole five priceless paintings from the Beaux-Arts Jules Cheret museum in the Riviera city of Nice Sunday. The daring daytime robbery at 1PM targeted one painting each of the Impressionist painters Claude Monet and Alfred Sisley, and two by the Flemish master Jan Breughel the Elder. A second Sisley painting was removed from the wall, but was so heavy that the thieves dropped it and the frame broke.

The staff was ordered to lie on the floor at gunpoint while the bad guys removed the paintings from the wall. This one Sunday was a free admission day to French museums, so there were about six visitors in the museum at the time. Despite the loss of the paintings, French museum patrons continued their rounds of the treasures of Western Civilization. This woman dutifully read the tags posted next to each vacated art space. (Read more at Indigo Continuum.)

Speaking to Eleanor Beardsley of America's National Public Radio, one French gentleman who had witnessed the robbery said, "I didn't think it was a robbery. It just seemed they were taking the paintings away to restore them or something. But, it was a little strange how they were wearing motorcycle helmets and masks."

A little strange? Yeah, I'd say it was a little strange. Strange that a grown man can stand there, witness an armed robbery, and not think anything was wrong. What about the museum guards lying on the floor, buddy? Geez! Is it any wonder that so many French don't see their country disappearing into the Islamic

Times on Line

The stolen paintings:

Monet's 1897 "Cliffs near Dieppe,"

Bruegel's 17th century "Allegory of Water"

Bruegel's 17th century "Allegory of Earth"

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Indigo Rose said...

A free admission day and all 6 Frenchmen interested in art were there. Guess they are used to the ridiculous if they didn't notice anything odd happening...

Mike's America said...

I wonder how many visitors they get on days when you have to pay?

You mean that anyone could just walk into a museum and lift frames off the wall? It's that easy?

I've always admired the Renoirs in the U.S. National Gallery of Art. If I had thought it was so easy to pinch them, I might have.

Tom C said...

I like a bit of T and A in my art as well. I saw a Renoir at the Biltmore house in Ashville NC and though I recognised it for what it was I thought it was pretty lame.