Mar 29, 2007

"Portrait of Wally" and Nazi Spoliation Litigation

Over at Culturegrrl, Lee Rosenbaum has some interesting information on Egon Schiele's Portrait of Wally which has been sitting in storage for about 8-9 years now pending litigation. Two other articles on this topic have appeared in the last week as well. Carol Kino has an article in the NY Times on this as well. Kelly Crow had an article ($) in last week's Wall Street Journal as well.

Here's what Rosenbaum had to say on "Portrait of Wally":

"Wally" is still languishing in storage, but not at MoMA. Having been seized by the U.S. Customs Service, it is now in a warehouse run by the Department of Homeland Security. According to MoMA's deputy general counsel, Stephen Clark, "No trial date [at U.S. District Court in Manhattan] has been set."

The Times reported that New York art-restitution attorneys Lawrence Kaye and Howard Spiegler are "helping the heirs" of the Viennese dealer in their effort to recover the Schiele painting from the Leopold Museum, Vienna, which had lent it to the MoMA show. The heirs assert that it had been confiscated from Jaray by the Nazis and should be returned to the family.

Spiegler told CultureGrrl today that an effort early last year at mediation in the case had failed, but he was hopeful that the matter would be resolved in court by "the end of this year or the beginning of next."

Well, let's hope that is the case. Rosenbaum blames the law for this extended delay, and that's right in a sense. This painting was seized under a civil forfeiture statute. The relevant federal prosecutor seized the work years ago, but the judicial machinery has been incredibly slow. I write about this at length in my article for the Cardozo Journal of Art and Entertainment law which should appear sometime next fall. Jennifer Anglim Kreder had an outstanding article on this dispute, and civil forfeiture a couple of years ago in the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. I think this is a topic which warrants some more discussion, so I'll revisit it later this week when I have more time.

In the meantime, you can see what I've written on the "Portrait of Wally" dispute.



Mar 27, 2007

Australian Auction Halted


Will Anderson over at The Assemblage was kind enough to point out the decision by the South Australian government to possibly halt an auction. An Australian news outlet, ABC News Online is reporting that the South Australian Government is considering halting the auction of a breastplate recently discovered by two brothers. It was estimated to bring half a million dollars (aus.) at auction. The object may have been presented to Aborigines in 1863 who helped the explorers Burke and Wills. Wikipedia has a nice overview of that expedition here. Let's just say despite grand ambitions to cross the continent, it did not end well.

The Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jay Weatherill may attempt to acquire the brass plate under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 (SA), which is available here. I'm not very familiar with it, but it seems the Minister may elect to purchase the object, or even seize it if a crime has been committed.

It's a bit of a curious action here in that it is protecting a gift which the newly-arrived explorers gave to the aborigines who helped them. Most protections of this kind would seem to protect the creations of the indigenous groups, and not gifts given to them by the new European explorers. It's a different way of thinking about an antiquity I think, and challenges what we might consider to be heritage.

Mar 26, 2007

A Few Notes

Sorry for the lack of posts last week. I've been rushing to finish up a couple of articles for publication. The first, is a case note on Iran v. Berend which should appear in the next issue of the International Journal of Cultural Property. The second is a much longer article which is tentatively titled: Why US Federal Criminal Penalities for Dealing in Illicit Cultural Property are Ineffective, and a Pragmatic Approach. That should be published sometime next fall. I'll try to post a copy of it on SSRN in the next few months.

In the links section at the left, I've added a link to the Museum Security Network, which is an outstanding service that sends daily emails on this topic. Also, I've included a link to Joanna Cobley's Museumdetective site, which includes a lot of great information and podcasts.

Mar 19, 2007

National Archives Theft for eBay Sale


An unpaid intern at the National Archives in Philadelphia was charged last week according to Tom Schmidt of the Philadelphia Daily News. He has been charged with stealing 165 Civil War documents and selling them on eBay, which violated 18 USC 641 (theft of government property).

Some of the stolen documents included a letter announcing the death of President Lincoln, along with other letters and telegrams detailing the supply of weapons and other materials to soldiers. He was a volunteer to prepare documents for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

The defendant, Denning McTague, holds master's degrees in History and IT. He had a website called Denning House Antiquarian Books, but it seems to have been taken down since last week. Many of the documents have been recovered, and McTague has been cooperating with authorities.

Sadly, I think this is what a substantial measure of cultural property theft looks like. It happens when curatorial staff and others take parts of a collection which may not be noticed. Susan Cooper, a spokeswoman for the National Archives in Washington D.C. was quoted in a story on PC World that "Since we never sell our documents, and since they [are] all unique, they are all extremely valuable" and this kind of theft is rare. I'm not sure how rare it really is, as institutions certainly do not want to publicize when parts of their collection are gone because of mismanagement. However in this case it seems the National Archives quickly discovered the missing documents, and no serious harm was done.

A copy of the Federal charges are available here.

Mar 16, 2007

What is the Practical Effect of the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003?

"Dealers are Confident their methods won't trigger the offence..."

Yesterday evening I had the great pleasure in attending a program by Dr. Simon Mackenzie at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies in London. He gave some of his initial findings on a survey of important players in the antiquities market he had just completed with Professor Penny Green. Mackenzie was just starting to interpret his data quite obviously. A couple things he said really jumped out though, and should make the scholarly output from this project much sought-after.

According to Mackenzie, many of the respondents thought the act was of minimal effect. This is my view as well. There have been no completed prosecutions under the act, though apparently some charges have been brought for altering parts of registered buildings, but no convictions have been achieved. As I've argued before, prosecutions under the act will almost certainly be few and far between The reason for that is the difficulty of proof. The market does not operate with provenance or chain of title. Any given vase could have been in a collection for 150 years, or could have been unearthed last week. There is no way of distinguishing them once they have been restored.

I found one interview response from London's law enforcement community quite fascinating. The respondent basically stated that the job of the police is to protect London, not to recover Iraqi or any other antiquities. Mackenzie labeled this problem national self-interest. On one level, I can completely see this police perspective. After all, if Londoners were going to allocate enforcement resources, wouldn't most of them choose safety and security for London first? I think so. However this becomes problematic for the illicit trade in cultural property, which is truly international in character.

Another issue was the fact that these dealers are "powerful constituencies in their own governance". Essentially, dealers have a great deal of say in how their own regulations are created. In conclusion, Mackenzie summarized the quandary by putting forward two different forms the antiquities market might take: (1) the market would end, or (2) the market would function along the lines of partage. In the latter model, experts would excavate sites, source nations would keep important objects, and then the excess antiquities would be auctioned off to finance the dig itself. In theory that seems a workable model. I'm not an archaeologist, and I have only a cursory knowledge of what they do, but that seems to be a difficult model for them to implement. One possible compromise might be for archaeologists to begin to commercialize their research, and thus allow for responsible commercial exploitation. In turn, dealers could implement some truly effective self-regulatory measures.

In the end, what I took from the discussion was a new-found respect for the Cultural Objects offence. I have been quite critical of it in the past, but I think, that only a truly draconian regulatory framework can effectively police the market as it currently operates. The best means of reform is to convince dealers that more money can be made by selling provenanced antiquities. That is a big job, and quite daunting, but achievable in my view.

Mar 14, 2007

Protest over a Da Vinci Loan



This work by Leonardo Da Vinci, the Annunciation, is slated to be displayed in Tokyo until mid June. However, a number of Italians are upset about the loan. Italian Senator Paolo Amato pictured below has chained himself to the entrance to the Uffizi gallery in Florence to protest the loan. The BBC has a story here, and an AP story
is here.

Cultural policy is a much more prominent part of Italian politics than in many other countries. Amato has accused Italian Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli of being "arrogant" for deciding to agree to the loan. The work has travelled before, to Paris and Milan in the 1930's, and it was hidden during WWII. However, it has remained in the Uffizi since 1945.

I have very little knowledge of how risky transportation of important works is. The work "
was being bundled into three protective crates filled with shock-absorbers and high-tech sensors to monitor humidity, temperatures and stress levels in preparation for departure Tuesday." That seems pretty secure to me, but I suppose any risk of loss of this important work would be a tragedy.

Thanks to David Nishimura at Cronaca for pointing out the story.

Mar 8, 2007

Getty Panel to Study "Cult Statue of a Goddess"


The Getty Museum has today announced it will bring together a panel to study this statue, probably of Aphrodite, known as the "Cult Statue of a Goddess". Last November, Michael Brand announced the Getty would transfer full title of the statue to Italy. He said the Getty would try to return the statue within 12 months. The Italian Ministry of Culture has demanded other objects though, including the "Bronze Statue of a Victorious Youth" which I've discussed here many times.

The experts have expertise in archeology, pollen analysis, stone analysis, and art history. University of Virginia Professor in Art History Malcolm Bell III has signed on to the workshop. He has been critical of the negative impact the antiquities market has had on archaeological context in the past. You can read a 2005 article he wrote here at the Museum Security Network. In it he said this statue "is an extremely rare example of the sort of cult statue that once stood within a Greek temple. While, as some have asserted, this remarkable work may come from Morgantina (a site in Sicily where I serve as co-director of excavations), no proof of its origin is known, and its subject is just as uncertain. The market destroyed the evidence."

Both the Italian Ministry of Culture and the Sicilian Regional Minister of Culture and Environmental Heritage have been invited to attend as well. The demand for this kind of statue motivated those who illicitly excavated and exported this work from its source nation. This workshop aims to study the statue, with the presumed goal of finding the findspot or provenience of this statue.

Scientific study is of course welcome, and perhaps these experts will be able to look at the soil and other residue removed from the statue when it was cleaned and learn a lot about it. However, if the market only dealt in licit antiquities, chances are we would know a great deal more about this statue. Many have criticized the Getty's aggressive antiquities-buying in the past, as the large sums of money they were willing to pay for these objects helped to fuel the illicit market.

The workshop is set to take place in May, and the findings will be peer-reviewed and then published.


What will the impact of this workshop be? The Getty has already agreed to return the statue, and the Italian Culture Ministry has insisted more objects should be returned. I am not sure what scientific data can be gleaned from the statue and the concretions at this point. I suspect it will not be conclusive, and will perhaps point to a number of findspots.

Dr. Brand says of the panel "the questions and allegations surrounding the statue's origins are complex and often contradictory. Our role as responsible stewards demands that we examine these questions in greater detail...We look forward to the opportunity to work with our international colleagues to shed more light on this subject." I hope both the Getty and Italy are able to work together to reach an effective compromise on this and the other works in the Getty collection.

Italians are very proud of their ancient history and rightly so. These disputes implicate national and cultural feelings. A productive dialogue would seem to be a better solution to this problem than a lot of the rhetoric which seems to fly back and forth in the press by both sides.

If the study is able to show the statue originated in another nation, like present-day Turkey, if the Getty will decide against returning the statue to Italy. The Getty's message to Italy seems clear, if you aren't willing to negotiate on these objects, we will look at them ourselves and determine where they should belong. From the legal and policy perspective, it would be much more helpful if the Getty clearly outlined the process an object goes through before it is repatriated. What kind of calculus is involved in deciding to repatriate? It seems that in the Italian case, the Culture Ministry has been extremely vocal and forced the Getty's hand in recent years.

Lee Rosenbaum over at Culturgrrl has a post on the same topic as well.




Mar 5, 2007

Stolen Rockwell and Spielberg and Theft Databases


Steven Spielberg has discovered a stolen Norman Rockwell painting, Russian Schoolroom in his art collection. The work was listed on the FBI's art crimes web site. There don't seem to be any good images of this work on the web. This is a small thumbnail. In terms of the original theft, the FBI website states the following:

On June 25, 1973, an original Norman Rockwell painting, entitled Russian Schoolroom, was stolen during a late night burglary in Clayton, Missouri. The painting was part of a Norman Rockwell Exhibit sponsored by the Chicago office of the Circle Galleries, later known as Arts International Galleries. At the time of the theft, the Russian Schoolroom, oil on canvas, measured 16" X 37", and was presented in a 2' x 4' frame of dull gold-white molding. This painting may also be referred to as The Russian Classroom or Russian Schoolchildren.

Records for the Russian Schoolroom indicate that after the theft in 1973 and prior to 1988, the painting’s location was unknown. In October 1988 Russian Schoolroom was sold at auction in New Orleans, Louisiana. Records revealed that at that time, the painting was associated with Circle Galleries (Chicago) and the Danenburg Gallery (New York). Neither gallery exists today.

Recent information determined that the same Russian Schoolroom was allegedly advertised for sale at a Norman Rockwell Exhibit in New York, circa 1989.

In July 2004, upon receipt of the information above, the FBI's newly formed Art Crime Team initiated an investigation to locate and recover the Russian Schoolroom.

It seems a member of Spielberg's staff came across the site. The FBI was then notified. There is no indication that Spielberg had any knowledge of the work's theft when he purchased it. Spielberg is a well-known collector of Rockwell. What this example does illustrate is a need for better and more comprehensive art databases. If collectors can check a work against one comprehensive database, then this kind of mistake will surely be avoided, and the incentive for stealing art will decrease dramatically.

The Art Loss Register is the most prominent of the stolen art databases. Here is a recent article on the work it does. It has been responsible for a number of high-profile recoveries. However, I am a bit skeptical because it is a closed database. It costs about $50 per search, and not everyone can search it. Julian Radcliffe, the ALR's chairman has said in interviews in the past that the reason the database is not public is it would allow the thieves to know the status of a work they have stolen. That may be true, but I'm still a bit skeptical. If it became routine to post a picture of your painting on a free, easy-to-use website, I think the same goals would be furthered.

It seems a company may have designed a way to use simple camera phones to compare a work to a stolen art database:


Thanks to a new development from the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK, the investigator can now simply take a photo of the art object with his cell phone and send it instantly to a central server. The researchers’ new image analysis system automatically compares this picture with the user’s database. The system identifies similar objects on the basis of visual features such as their shape, outline, color or texture, and returns a list of the top ten closest hits to the cell phone in a matter of seconds. If the picture is among the works in the database, the art detective can react immediately. “The system is remarkably easy to operate,” says Dr. Bertram Nickolay, head of the department for security systems. “Since it was built mostly from standard modules, it’s also a cost-effective solution.” Furthermore, the system is immune to interference factors such as a poor photograph of the work of art. Reflections caused by flash photography or by excessive brightness have no effect on the image analysis in the central server.

This could work, and it could work well. I imagine that the first company which figures out how to make a simple and easy database will earn a lot of money, and will do wonders for insuring the legitimacy of the art trade. My personal preference would be to have a free system similar to wikipedia, which allows anyone to use and access the site. Until there is a comprehensive database which ties together all of these various databases though, we will continue to see people unwittingly purchasing stolen works.

Mar 3, 2007

Modigliani in a toilet


This portrait of Rosalie Tobia by Modigliani was left in a staff bathroom close to a customs checkpoint in the Bergamo airport last week. Richard Owen of The Times has an article here.

The painting may be worth as much as $1.2 million. It was found wrapped in a sheet, packed in a box. Authorities have speculated that someone was trying to smuggle it out of the country. Italy's Ministry of Culture would most likely have prevented the painting from leaving the country. Authorities also fear this may be part of a larger smuggling operation.

What seems most likely is a smuggler lost her nerve right before going through customs. Of course, the work has yet to be authenticated, so someone could have just forgotten a painting.

Mar 2, 2007

The "Bronze Statue of a Victorious Youth"

Earlier this week I had the great pleasure to give a presentation to the University of Aberdeen Legal research Society. I discussed the very public dispute between Italy and the Getty museum regarding the "Bronze Statue of a Victorious Youth". The discussion which ensued was furthered greatly by the presence of Neil Curtis, Senior Curator of the Marischal Museum, as well as a couple of Italian colleagues. We had a very interesting discussion, and much of the credit for that goes to them. I would like to outline here my general comments on the dispute. I have posted on many of these ideas before, but if nothing else the dispute over the Bronze allows a timely and interesting introduction to cultural policy and repatriation.

As the LA Times put it last fall, "To whom does a statue made in ancient Greece, stolen by Romans and found in the Adriatic by Italian fishermen 2,000 years later, rightfully belong?"


First, what is the Getty trust, and why has it gotten itself into trouble in recent decades? J. Paul Getty was an American Industrialist, and the founder of the Getty Oil comp
any. He started the Getty Trust in 1953. Today, the Trust may be the richest art institution in the world, boasting assets of close to $9 billion dollars. In recent decades, the Getty pursued a very aggressive antiquities-buying campaign, which by itself may be an innocent activity. However we now know that many of those antiquities were illicitly excavated or exported illegally.

Italy has a large amount of discovered and undiscovered antiquities. It is also an industrialized nation
. Many of the nations which are considered source nations (i.e. those that export more cultural objects than they import) are underdeveloped. So Italy is in a unique position. Historically, Italian antiquities have been exported to the rest of Europe, and other parts of the world. Increasingly, Italy has sought to prevent the loss of these cultural objects. The last 18 months has seen the Italian Culture Ministry lead a very aggressive repatriation campaign with three components

1. Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions,

2. Raised repatriation claims with Museums and Private collectors,

3. A Public Relations Campaign.


There have been a number of high-profile repatriations by American museums in recent months. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Metropolitan Museum (Euphronios Krater) in New York have both agreed to return antiquities.

A former curator at the Getty, Marion True is on trial in Rome for conspiring to deal in Italian antiquities. This has had a very unpleasant public relations consequences for the Getty. Italy has demanded the return of 52 Antiquities from the Getty. The two parties have been negotiating a return of many of the objects for many months. However this fall, Italy abruptly broke of talks with the Getty, and said no agreement could be reached unless the Getty returned the Bronze. If the Getty did not agree to these terms, the Italians threatened the Getty with a “cultural embargo”.

Francesco Rutelli, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Culture and Heritage sent an Op-Ed to the Wall Street Journal saying:

Italy has been trying for over six months to conclude an agreement with Los Angeles’s Getty Museum on 46 ancient works of art that were illicitly removed from our country. I still hope to succeed. But on one point, I am unable to understand the museum’s position. How can they think that the Italian government will accept an agreement that contemplates renouncing possession of those works of art?

The 46 works that we are waiting for include the Venus illicitly removed from Morgantina in Sicily , and the bronze Athlete that was hauled up in a fishing net from the waters of the Adriatic sea and later secretly smuggled out of Italy in total violation of its laws.

What then of the statue itself? To better evaluate Italy’s claims, we need to look at the circumstances under which it was found. The Bronze Statue of a Victorious Youth” is an almost life-size figure of an athlete wearing a victory wreath. The Statue was created in Greece, possibly by Alexander the Great’s Court Sculptor Lysippos, but it may have been sculpted by another. It was created sometime between the 4th and 2nd Century B.C. Now my Italian colleagues rightly pointed out that a number of Greek settlements were founded in what we today think of as Italy.

In June, 1964 the Statue was recovered in modern times, by complete accident, off the northern Adriatic coast by fisherman from the Italian city of Fano. They pulled up a heavy object covered in barnacles. The most likely explanation for the find in the Adriatic is that it was taken from Greece in Roman times, and the vessel was lost at sea. A number of Greek objects were taken by invading Roman armies, the most noteworthy instance was during the fall of Syracuse. When the fisherman returned to Fano, they decided to sell the statue. The statue changed hands a number of times.

We know that Giacomo Barbetti purchased the statue from the fisherman. For a time, Barbetti and his two brothers stored the statue at the home of Father Giovanni Nagni. Barbetti then sold the statue to another man for 4,000,000 lire, not a great sum of money. It would have amounted to about $4,000. In 1966, the 3 Barbettis and Father Nagni were charged with purchasing and concealing stolen property under Italy’s 1939 Antiquities Law. The prosecution reached the Court of Appeals of Rome, however it overturned the convictions for 2 reasons (1) The prosecutors did not establish the statue came from Italian waters, and (2) there was insufficient evidence demonstrating that the statue was of “artistic and archaeological interest”. After the Barbetti’s sold the statue, the Provenance (chain of title) of the statue is a bit vague, and open to some speculation. Most likely it went through a series of owners, in an attempt to achieve a bona fide purchase at some point. It went from a Brazilian Monastery to England, and later to Munich.

In 1977, the Getty Trust purchased the Bronze for $3.95 million. It has been publicly displayed since 1978. Until 2006, Italy made no more formal requests for the Bronze, though they did ask the Getty to evaluate the possibility of returning the statue to Italy in 1989.

Legal Analysis of the Dispute

Even if the statue was found in Italian national waters, it’s nearly impossible to prove at this point. The criminal trials of the 3 Barbetti’s and Father Nagni loom large here. Italian prosecutors were not able to establish in 1968 that the Bronze was discovered in Italian territorial waters. To attempt to prove it nearly 40 years on is nearly impossible.

If the statue had been found in Italian national waters, both US and Italian law would dictate that Italy owns the Bronze. The 1939 Italian Patrimony law requires that the object was declared within the territory of Italy to apply. To be sure, if Italy was able establish the statue had been discovered in Italian national waters they would have brought a legal action long ago in US federal court, or even had Federal prosecutors seize the statue.

Illegal Export from Italy Does Not Dictate It should be handed over to Italy

Logically, the Bronze came ashore in Italy after it was discovered. Italian law requires that antiquities deemed of interest by the State, even those owned by private individuals cannot be exported without a license. US law does not enforce foreign export regulations. This goes back to the general rule that Public laws of another nation will not be enforced. US v. Schultz, 333 F.3d 393 (2d Cir. 2003), US v. McClain,545 F.2d 988 (5th Cir. 1977). Also, there are a lot of different kinds of export restrictions, and they are not always working well in limiting illicit trade. The reasons for this are beyond our present concern, but it is well settled that most nations will not enforce the export restrictions of another nation.

International Law

Italy has argued that international treaties dictate the Bronze should be returned. What they are referencing is the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.

This does impose on states an obligation to prevent the illicit export of cultural property. However, it contains no provisions mandating the return or permitting the seizure of objects, except those that have been stolen.

The Convention is by its own terms, not in force unless enacted into domestic law. However, when the statue was imported into the US, neither Italy nor the US had ratified the Convention.

Ethical Analysis of the Dispute

Finally, what are the values we should look at in evaluating cultural property controversies?

  1. Archaeological Context
  2. Preservation of the Object
  3. Access by the Public
  4. International Movement
  5. Preserving a National Patrimony of Works

Italy’s position relies on the creation of some kind of nexus between Italy’s cultural heritage and the Bronze based on the time it was brought ashore by the fishermen at Fano. This is a very difficult argument for the Italians to win in my view. What’s more, the Italian authorities are ignoring the economic value of the Bronze: Maurizio Fiorilli: Italy’s Chief Antiquities Prosecutor has said The economic value is of little consequence. What is important is the gain Getty will derive on the ethical plane. Moral gain is the reward. Also, the monetary value of the objects is not Italy's problem. It is the problem of those who spend good money for objects that are without clear title and are illicitly removed from their place of cultural origin. It is up to the authorities in the USA who are responsible for controlling the Getty to investigate how the money was spent. Culture predisposes honesty and transparency.”

Part of the problem here is the two different ways Italy and the Getty seem to be evaluating the claim. Italy is asserting an ethical claim to the statue based on its ties to Greek culture. However, the US has a very strong sense of Greek and Roman culture as well. After all, the Supreme Court is a copy of classical architecture.

None of the 5 core values come down on Italy’s side in my view. Destruction of archaeological context is a huge problem, and one of the worst aspects of the illicit trade. However, this was a chance find, the fishermen weren’t doing anything wrong. Other objects in the Getty’s collection should certainly be returned, and the Getty has in fact agreed to return 26 objects of the contested objects. The question becomes, why is Italy insisting on the Bronze? Why are they preventing a good faith compromise here by insisting on a tenuous claim to the bronze?

Mar 1, 2007

Stolen Picassos


These two works by Pablo Picasso were stolen. The two works, Portrait of Jacqueline (1938) on the left and Maya with Doll (1961) on the right, will be nearly impossible to sell. They were taken from a home in Paris' 7th Arrondissement between Monday and Tuesday of this week. They were stolen from Diana Widmaier-Picasso, the granddaughter of the artist. Their combined value is estimated at $66 million.

Alan riding of the New York Times has an excellent story here, and there are various AP stories floating around as well.

Speculation will abound about who stole these works and why. That's the ultimate question. Was it the mob, criminals eager to ransom the work back, or even a wealthy evil genius who had it stolen to order? If I had to guess, I would say it was probably taken by experienced thieves. They will put it in a bank vault, and attempt to work out a settlement with the owners in a few years, perhaps even brokered by the Art Loss Register.

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