Confessions of a researchaholic

September 17, 2023

The art thief

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:53 pm
Tags: ,

This is a compact and yet engaging book about the most prolific and efficient art thief in history.
To understand such an extraordinary individual, his deeds, and the shocking ending, it is important to know his “state machine” – how he perceives the world, his relationships, incentives, and actions.
To reconstruct this state machine, the author interviewed the thief in person and also talked to people who knew him, including his small circle of friends and family, his victims (e.g., museums, antique stores, and auction houses staff), psychoanalysts, and law enforcement officers.
The book also describes the history of art market and theft (e.g., Picasso commissioned a theft from Louvre early on and then became the most stolen artist later), and the author’s own journey in writing this book.

Highly recommend, especially for those who are interested in art, psychology, and crime.
I probably will see things differently during my future museum visits.

Instead of stealing artworks and put them in an attic for personal peruse, I dream about the opposite: sneak artworks created by people I know into museums so that they can be appreciated by more people and better preserved by art professionals.

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