8 February 2006

The World's Most Wanted Artworks

一直以來,藝術品被盜的案件不絶,大部份都流入黑市買賣,只有一少部份可以尋回。而一旦偷竊發生,博物館或收藏家最怕的是藝術品被毁壞,有些如金製雕塑更恐怕會遭到被溶掉變賣的惡夢。2002年,世上「最成功」的亞里巴巴大盜Stephane Breitwieser,於1995年至02年期間,於法國、瑞士、荷蘭、比利士及奧地利五國的172間博物館內,盜得總值12.5億英鎊的藝術品,包括大師油畫名作、古董陶器、古代武器及樂器等。當他於2002年被瑞士警方逮捕後,其五十二歲的母親將所有藝術品毁壞,油畫被剪為碎片、古董被抛下Rhine-Rhone河 (見Paris Dispatch 2002年5月16日報導)。去年十二月,英國Hertfordshir的Henry Moore Foundation被匪徒有組織地運走一件3.5米高價值三百萬英鎊的銅製雕塑,當局隨即以重酬十萬英鎊緝兇 (見英國衛報2006年1月20日)。打開這個網頁,http://www.saztv.com/page7.html 你會見到無數失蹤藝術品正懸紅緝兇,以Jan Vermeer 的The Concert (c.1665-1666) 排榜首,重酬美元五百萬。大家有興趣不妨上網看看。

Once an art theft happened, the worst scenario is this: in 2002, the "most successful" art theft, Stephane Breitwieser was caught in Switzerland, his 52-year-old mother destroyed all the £1.25bn-worth of old masters, ceramics, antique weapons and musical instruments, which Stephane had stolen over a period of seven years since 1995 from 172 museums in five European countries, France, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria. Mrs. Breitwieser simply threw the artifices into Rhine-Rhone canal bank and cut the master oils into pieces (see Paris Dispatch dated 16 May 2002). Therefore, in December 2005, when the Henry Moore Foundation's 3.5metre bronze sculpture was stolen, the foundation issued a handsome award of £100K in the hope of recovering the artwork that worth £3m (see The Guardian dated 20 Jan 2005). If you go to this website, http://www.saztv.com/page7.html , you will see the images of artworks that you might never been able to see somewhere else. They are the missing pieces that the museums and art collectors are looking for with attractive rewards. On the top is Jan Vermeer's The Concert (c.1665-1666) which was stolen from Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum of Boston in 1990. The reward for this single item is US$5m!

Image 1. Henry Moore's Reclining Figure (1969-70) (LH608) Photo: The Henry Moore Foundation

Image 2. Jan Vermeer. The Concert. c.1665-1666. Oil on canvas. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA, USA. (Stolen)

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