Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Monday, December 17, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Grand Jury Probes Gardner Art Heist !! Update, Christmas Day, 25th December 2007, !!!

Update, Finish Your Christmas Dinner Bob, Get Yourself Down to Brazil !!!

Unidentified Art Collector Thought to be Behind São Paulo Picasso Heist

SAO PAULO, Brazil—Authorities in the Brazilian capital have announced that they suspect a wealthy art collector of having commissioned last week’s theft of paintings by Picasso and Brazilian artist Candido Portinari from the city's Museu de Arte Moderna, the Associated Press reports.

However, the police have not identified the suspect, “so as not to jeopardize the investigation” said Adriano Monetta, a spokesman for the São Paulo State Public Safety Department.

The AP also reports that that the two stolen works, Picasso’s Portrait of Suzanne Bloch and Portinari’s Coffee Worker, are uninsured, as are the rest of the 8,000 works in the museum's collection.

Memo to FBI Icon Robert Wittman !!

Bob, finish your dinner, get the Brazilians on the horn, ask them to identify their art collecting suspect, then analyse to see if this person could be in possession of some of the stolen Gardner art.

Bob, when you get to Brazil, the "go to" man is Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, 44, also known as Chupeta "Lollipop" he is prime for a deal, s'hh you know why, just get down there and make the deal !!

Bob, you will need Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia to apply pressure to Edemar Cid Ferreira and his son Rodrigo Rodrigues Cid Ferreira in order to allow the stolen paintings to surface.

These guys will not deal with Brazilian authorities hence why the FBI Art Crime Icon Robert Wittman is needed to make the deal. Moises Manoel de Lima Sobrinho is the culprit who the key to solving the case.

Bob, be careful not to eat any food cooked up by Moises Manoel de Lima Sobrinho as he is a bit of professional in the kitchen, not to mention his criminal links, however good the food looks like, it might contain a Micky Fin!!

I would have put forward the Iconic Art Loss Adjuster Mark Dalrymple, (the chisel jawed Gillette man, who, is soon to be crowned the AXA Art Insurance Man of the Year 2007), but for this particular Brazilian case it needs an Icon from within Law Enforcement.

There was a rumour that Whitey Bulger took some of the Gardner art to South America when he fled Ireland a couple of years ago.

However tenuous the South American Whitey Bulger link, I think the Gardner Art should be mentioned during the negotiations for the Brazilian stolen Picasso's etc.

Perhaps this Art collecting suspect in the recent Picasso theft should be infiltrated by none other than our dear friend and master of disguise/disaster, FBI Icon Robert Wittman.

Just a thought Bob, time for a Mardi Gras junket that could produce a result and get some of the stolen Gardner art back.

Sorry Mrs Wittman for spoiling Bob's dinner, but Bob should be packing and heading for Brazil, if only to recover the recent stolen Picasso as well as the group of paintings stolen in 2006.

However, a closer look at Russia may reveal the stolen Mardi Gras paintings and also some of the stolen Gardner art, Semion Mogilevich is my "go to" guy in Russia, he will co-operate if offered the right deal.

A blanket raid on this unidentified stolen art collector, being put in the frame by Brazilian Police could recover some of the illusive Gardner art.

Alternatively, Bob can utilise his Irish connections and urge for the Vermeer and co to be placed in a Confession box to be discovered and returned to Boston without any pre-conditions.

Come to think about Bob, why not promote the Catholic church to take receipt of all stolen art that is handed back, Catholicism is revered in Brazil, why Brazil is home to the largest number of Catholics, 125 million, so utilise this fact and offer a Catholic Church confession box as a returning point for Iconic stolen art.

Finally Bob, I know you are a stickler for detail and authenticity, like the other great character actor Robert De Niro, but in this particular case A "Brazilian" does not mean you have to remove all of your bodily hair !!

Bob, I said finish your dinner !!

You still eating ??

Grand jury to hear art theft case

Ex-worker tells of subpoena
By Stephen Kurkjian
Globe Correspondent / December 17, 2007

A federal grand jury is scheduled to hear evidence this week into one of Boston's most enduring unsolved criminal cases, the 1990 theft of priceless artwork from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, according to a former employee who worked at the museum at the time.

The former worker said two FBI agents questioned him about his recollection of the theft several days ago and handed him a subpoena to testify before the grand jury in Boston tomorrow.

The agents told him they were gathering facts on the case and were hoping that the grand jury would "shake things up" in the long-stalled investigation, said the former worker, who asked not to be identified.

The agents did say that they were pursuing the possibility that the theft may have been carried out by three individuals - and not two as has long been publicly believed, the former employee said.

On Friday, a spokeswoman for US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan's office declined to comment on the grand jury, stating that the office never confirms or denies the existence of such a session.

A spokeswoman for the Gardner Museum also declined comment.

The former museum employee read portions of the subpoena to the Globe and said it was signed by Brian T. Kelly, a veteran prosecutor in the US attorney's office. Kelly has helped spearhead the federal investigation into and the crackdown of James "Whitey" Bulger's criminal enterprise.

Thirteen pieces of artwork, including three Rembrandts and a Vermeer, were stolen from the museum, which is located in the Fenway, during the early morning of March 18, 1990. According to press reports, two men dressed in Boston police uniforms persuaded the museum's night watchman to allow them access to the museum by contending they had been sent to investigate a disturbance in the museum's outdoor courtyard.

Once inside, the two disguised as police officers tricked the watchman into leaving his desk, which contained the only alarm to the outside world, by telling him he looked like someone on whom they had a default warrant, according to press reports. After he had left his post, the watchman and a second guard, who had been doing rounds at the time, were handcuffed, bound with masking tape, and then tied up in separate spots in the basement of the museum, according to press reports.

For nearly 90 minutes, the thieves made their way through the museum's darkened galleries, ripping paintings from the walls and in some cases cutting masterpieces from their frames.

Among the stolen pieces was the only seascape that Rembrandt ever painted, "Storm on the Sea of Galilee," and "The Concert," by Vermeer, one of the most valuable paintings in the Gardner collection.

Over the years, the crime achieved notoriety as the largest unsolved art theft in world history with the value of the stolen works estimated between $300 million and $500 million.

The theft was vigorously investigated at the outset by the FBI, which assigned more than 40 agents to the case.

Several museum employees, including the two guards, were given lie detector tests, but no hard leads ever developed.

Over the years, hundreds of leads have been pursued by federal authorities but invariably they involved vague tips from well-intentioned individuals or some less well-intentioned ones who were trying to inveigle money from the museum.

The Gardner has had a $5 million reward posted for the return of the artwork in good condition for more than a decade.

Art Hostage comments:

This is the FBI preparing the public for the revelations that are about to come out.

What about the ex-Gardner museum employee who died in mysterious circumstances in Paris a few years ago ????

The FBI are closing in on Whitey Bulger and when he is arrested he will reveal all the double-dealing and double crossing that went on with the FBI regarding the Gardner case and FBI sanctioned murders, all known about by current FBI Director Robert Mueller when he was an Attorney in Boston during the 80's.

The FBI have been offered the Gardner art on several occasions, but won't take Yes for an answer.

The reward of $5 million for the return of the Gardner art in "good condition"

So subjective, a mere flake of paint missing from a corner of a painting could be deemed as not in good condition, thereby negating the reward payment.

Also, a "Subject to" condition in the reward offer means, if so disposed, the Gardner Museum could, refuse to pay the reward legitimately.

Establishing who actually robbed the Gardner museum may still leave the FBI five steps away from the actual art.

However, if the FBI can squeeze those involved, they may snitch and allow the FBI to trace the current possessor of the Vermeer and co.

The Churchill quote, Summer 1940:

"Round them up, and Collar the Lot"
is finally being applied to the Gardner case and the pursuit of Whitey Bulger.

This new impetus leads me to believe that the Green light has been given to arrest Whitey Bulger and recover the Gardner Art,from the Political masters who, up until now, have thwarted any FBI attempts to solve these two infamous cases.

Could FBI Director Robert Mueller be announcing his retirement soon ???

Make no mistake, the Gardner case, as well as the pursuit of Whitey Bulger, could have been solved years ago, if the FBI had the incentive and Political permission to do so.

Art Hostage has been quietly offering advice to those who control some of the stolen Gardner Art and I have given my best estimations of how likely it is for the reward to be allowed to be paid.

The Art Hostage plan has been approved by all sides and when the time is right, the Vermeer and co will appear via a confession box, with the Catholic priest who finds them claiming the reward from the Gardner Museum.

Any other attempt to claim the reward money offered by the Gardner museum will be thwarted by Law Enforcement, FBI, Garda, Brit Police etc...

"Memo to those who control the Gardner art, Vermeer and co"

So, as you feel the noose tightening, act quick, allow the Gardner art to surface via a confession box, the Catholic Priest claims the reward, then watch and see authorities try and wriggle out of that one !!!

Any use of Lawyers to try and negotiate the return of the stolen Gardner art will result in the arrest of the Lawyers as well as their clients, as seen in the Da Vinci case.

Art Hostage has warned time and time again:

"Use anyone other than a Catholic Priest at your peril"

If anyone has given proof of life they leave themselves open to being prosecuted and pressured into returning the rest of the stolen art under threat of indictment.

For the last time, you have been warned, the only safe way to hand back the Gardner art is as follows:

"Forgive me father for I have sinned, the stolen Gardner art is beside me here in
the confession box"

"Father please hand back the Gardner Art and claim the reward on my behalf,
deducting a commission for the Catholic church"

Finally, ask yourself these questions:

"Has any of the stolen Gardner art already been recovered ?"

"When, and in what circumstances ?"

"Was the list of stolen artworks accurate or an elaborate falsehood ?"

"What was the occupation of the robbers ?"

"To what extent did Law Enforcement help the thieves and cover up the truth ?"

With the truth about 9/11 about to burst like a dam, a little bit of Government corruption in Boston regarding Whitey Bulger, Gardner Heist seems like just another day at the office for the current administration. To be fair Bulger and Gardner art heist were not on Bush's watch, so let the truth come out.

As a sceptic, I tried to watch Loose change final cut with an open mind.

Please take the time to watch the whole documentary and the Mark Roberts rebuttal, then decide if the Official 9/11 Commission Report is the real conspiracy theory ??

Loose Change Final Cut

The Whole film is linked here, below:

New Chapter, Planes.

Just when you thought it safe to question the Government, this video, below, gives food for thought:

The Brit Government has questions to answer, see link below:

Tragedy Alert, How did the Beloved United States of America go from:

Iwo Jima to 9/11

To This !!

Something to consider before supporting Rudy Giuliani for President, see link below:

Mark Roberts Attempts to Debunk Loose Change Final Cut

Mark Roberts research page

In the interests of fairness to both sides of the 9/11 argument I have found this new documentary, below, by Mark Roberts that tries to answer questions raised in Loose Change Final Cut.

Also watch these two debates about 9/11, notice how Mark Roberts looks authentic and the Loose Change guys seem naive. Shame they do not address WTC Building 7.







Upon another, much lighter note, Pragmatic, classic Monty Python, below, thanks Ruthie's Law for the link:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, He Did it, No, He Did it, No, He Did it, I'm Already Uncertain !!!

Daily List for Monday 26 November 2007 at OLD SHIRE HALL


Court 6 - sitting at 10:30 am


For Trial





Art Hostage comments:
A very interesting case indeed, one to watch !!

Should the Witnesses be the Defendants, and the Defendants be the Witnesses, I'm already confused, uncertain.

"Beyond a reasonable doubt" benchmark looks like a mere pipe dream for the prosecution at this stage.

So, Frankie Five Angels, what's it to be ?? Sing like a Canary, or Amnesia Alley ??

Mr. PENTANGELI (Frankie Five Angels) you are contradicting a sworn statement that you previously made to me and signed. I ask you again sir — you are now under oath — were you at any time a member of a crime organization — headed by MICHAEL Corleone.

Frankie Five Angels PENTANGELI:

"I don’t know nothing’ about that.. Oh — I was in the Olive Oil business with his father but that was a long time ago that’s all."

"We have a sworn affidavit — we have it — your sworn affidavit that you murdered on the orders of MICHAEL Corleone. Do you deny that confession, and do you realize what will happen as a result of your denial."

Frankie Five Angels PENTANGELI:
"Look the FBI guys promised me a deal. So I made up a lot of stuff about MICHAEL Corleone ’cause that’s what they wanted — but it was all lies — uh — everything. And I kept saying — MICHAEL Corleone did this and MICHAEL Corleone did that — .uh — so I said yea sure, why not."

Read the Frankie Five Angels testimony below:

That is the problem with turning Queens Evidence, becoming a Sewer Rat, Amnesia can strike at just the wrong, or right moment !!

In the Godfather movie, because Frankie Five Angels refused to testify against Michael Corleone, the Pentangeli Family were allowed to retain their reputation and their wealth.

Frankie Five Angels sat in a very hot bath, opened his veins, and slowly drifted off, like the Roman Senators did when they were found out to be Sewer Rats.
To be continued..........

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Fair Reward from Houston, it is Thanksgiving, Forget About it !!


New York Post


November 22, 2007 -- An Upper East Side woman who found a stolen masterpiece painting in a pile of garbage four years ago was stunned to see it sell for more than $1 million at a Sotheby's auction.

But Elizabeth Gibson won't be seeing much of that money, since the original owner decided to give her a measly $15,000 reward.

"I basically gave her a million dollars," she said.

Gibson found the painting - "Tres Personajes," by Mexican abstract artist Rufino Tamayo - in 2003 as she was passing a Dumpster near her home.

She immediately could tell it was no ordinary trash.

"I took it because it has a supernatural power," she said yesterday. "There was a mystery to it from the moment I saw it to when the hammer went down."

After she took it home, she struggled to find out who created the work and who owned it.

After four years of probing the painting's origins - including fruitless contact with lawyers, insurance adjusters and art experts - Gibson finally found her way to the Web site for the PBS program "Antiques Roadshow." There, she discovered that the splotchy red, purple and yellow picture was stolen in 1989.

Gibson later took the painting to the Sotheby's auction house, which discovered the owner was a Houston woman - and that the painting was stolen from storage.

The owner's husband coincidentally bought it from a Sotheby's auction in 1977.

Back then, it sold for $55,000 - and when it vanished, the woman put up a $15,000 reward.

Gibson said that when she got the painting back to the woman through contacts at Sotheby's, she hoped the owner would up the reward a bit, considering two decades of inflation and the fact that experts expected it to sell for between $750,000 and $1 million.

But the woman - who has not been identified - wouldn't budge, Gibson said.

"People tried to get her to give me more," she said. "But she wasn't interested."

The painting beat expectations and sold for $1,049,000 in the Latin American art auction Tuesday.

The owner wouldn't give her a percentage of the sale. Gibson said that Sotheby's felt so bad for her after all her work that it gave her an undisclosed percentage of the sale commission.

Nevertheless, Gibson said she had no regrets.

"In the end I feel very blessed," she said. "This is the best Thanksgiving ever."

Art Hostage comments:

First of all, it would be nice if this Houston woman would comment on her alleged mean spirited action.

If we are to go along with Ms Gibson being an honest, innocent, genuine finder of this stolen artwork, then the Houston woman is acting very tough and demonstrating a mean spirit, especially as today is Thanksgiving.

However, the Houston woman may be acting on FBI instructions to keep the reward low ?

That said, Sotheby's will, no doubt, share its fee with Ms Gibson, for good Public Relations.

Sotheby's get paid 20% from both buyer and seller, so perhaps Ms Gibson will be in for a windfall after all ?

Sotheby's may not offer the Houston woman any discount on her sellers premium, 25% on the first $20,000, 20% on the next $480,000 and 12% thereafter, due to her miserly, mean spirited, nasty, self-serving, greedy attitude.

What both Sotheby's and Ms Gibson failed to say to the Houston woman is:

"Happy Thanksgiving, really, really hope you choke on your Turkey, you mean spirited, miserly, undeserving, money grabbing, Scarlet O'Hara"

Next time you lose anything valuable the reaction will be:

"Go Fuck yourself, big time !!"

Please, please, correct me if there is another legitimate reason why the Houston woman will not pay a reward that reflects the public spirit in which, we are led to believe, this stolen artwork was returned.

The millions of honest people reading about this story may think twice about acting honestly if they feel they will not be rewarded sufficiently.

Before anyone starts moralising about doing a Public spirited thing, without reward, please, bottom line is the money, stupid !!
Has anyone wondered if the Houston woman's husband collected any insurance payout ???
If so, then the painting would belong to the insurance company, or at the very least the Houston woman would have to pay the $55,000 insurance payout back !!
If the Houston woman is a miser in reality, then perhaps she has not informed the insurance company ??

Finally, perhaps Sotheby's and Ms Gibson may consider sending the Houston woman some Pretzels to choke on !!

Now, to much more pleasant things.

On this Thanksgiving day I would like to make a personal plea to those who control the stolen Gardner Art, Vermeer especially.

A trip to the local Catholic Church to make confession, whilst leaving the Gardner art in the confession box, will almost certainly result in the full, I repeat full payment of the current $5 million dollar reward offered by the Honourable Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boston.

It may even result in a payment of $10 million, as the Gardner Museum is considering the Art Hostage plan to double the reward.

Remember, the person claiming the reward must, I repeat must, stand up to Public and Law Enforcement scrutiny, be it in Boston, Bulgaria or Bantry Bay.

Therefore, the only person to defiantly tick all of the boxes is a Catholic Priest or Bishop, who can claim the reward without revealing the identity of who returned the stolen Gardner artworks via the confession box.

The power of the confession allows the Priest to do this in an honourable manner, and in any case, it is not murder, violence or drugs, it is iconic artworks that will be displayed for everyone to enjoy.

So, this Thanksgiving Day, say a Hail Mary, pass the Gardner Art to the Catholic Priest or Bishop, and collect the reward from the Priest/Bishop.

One last thing, make sure the person handing the Gardner art back, via a Confession Box, has not had anything to do with the original theft or the subsequent handling, got it !!

Thanksgiving memo to Whitey Bulger:

"Jimmy B, if you want to hand yourself in, do it with a Catholic priest or Bishop, why, well they can claim the $1 million reward bounty without any objections from the Media, Public or Law Enforcement.

If you want to make sure you are not assassinated, take refuge in a Catholic Church, then let the worlds Media descend upon your location, then request the Justice Department take you into custody.

Hope you have kept your diaries safe, especially as they give every detail of your career.

Lunch, sorry Jimmy B, it's far too hot, and I don't mean the weather !!

Ssh, they think I'm joking !!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Swiss Cheese Civilians Undermine Customs/Police !!

Customs chief quits over 'failure'

Press Association
Tuesday November 20, 2007 2:03 PM,,-7090722,00.html

HM Revenue and Customs chairman Paul Gray has said he is resigning after "a substantial operational failure" in the department.

It is understood that senior officials from Revenue and Customs were called to a meeting with Treasury officials at the weekend as the scale of the problem emerged.

The Metropolitan Police is understood to have been involved in investigating missing discs containing personal data, which contain the names, National Insurance and bank details of millions of child benefit recipients.

In a letter to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) staff, Mr Gray said: "This is not the way I would have planned to organise my departure from HMRC.

"I had hoped to be around for a while longer, and to have had the continuing privilege of leading HMRC towards the vision we have been developing.

"But I am extremely proud of what all of you in the organisation have achieved during my time as deputy chairman and chairman."

Conservative member of the House of Commons Treasury Committee, Michael Fallon, said he was "stunned" by Mr Gray's departure.

HMRC was created by the merger of the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise at a time when the Treasury was demanding thousands of staff cuts, and has been under "immense pressure", said Mr Fallon.

He said that the affair raised new questions about Mr Darling's performance as Chancellor. He is due to make a Commons statement on the issue.

Art Hostage comments:

The real scandal is how Police Protected Witnesses and Police Informants are being put at risk.

When a Police Informant or a Police Witness is given a new identity, they retain the same bloody NI (National Insurance) number.

The previous records about Tax, NI and Benefit payments remain, so if the Underworld get their hands on NI, Benefit and Tax records they can cross match NI numbers and reveal the new identity given to Police Witnesses and Informants, thereby putting those people and their families at risk.

The ever increasing use of civilian workers in key administration and accountancy positions within government and law enforcement agencies has created a "Swiss Cheese" effect to security.

Any firewalls created to protect Police Witnesses and Police Informants are being undermined by the retention of National Insurance numbers that follow the person with the new identity.

Furthermore, by some strange coincidence, a firm of accountants who work for some law enforcement agencies, also are engaged in money laundering for senior members of Organised Crime.

There have been instances of the Accountants being privy to Covert Police Operations, cost assessments etc, and have passed this information to their Criminal Underworld clients, who take precautions to undermine the Covert Police Operation from the start.

This allows the Underworld to keep Police busy on a wild Goose chase, whilst the genuine criminality goes on unabated.

The amounts of money involved allow the Criminal Underworld to remain several steps ahead and any Police success only reflects around about 10% of criminal activity being disrupted.

Another thing, Govt sends CD Rom's containing vital personal information around Govt departments without a care in the world about security.

There have been cases whereby cleaners in govt departments have copied CD Roms for criminals and have never been detected.

So, while front end Policing looks good, well funded, secure firewalls to protect witnesses/Informants, behind the scenes, sensitive information CD's being traded like pirate DVD's and music CD's.

Those already living with a new identity should not be afraid, they should be very afraid !!

Those who are considering becoming a Witness or an Informant, think very carefully !!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Hurley Arrested, Hurley in Court, Hurley Headlines !!

Now above, then below.

Britain's Most Wanted Man Arrested
Britain's most wanted man was arrested by Local Police in Holland 10 days ago.

James Hurley had been on the run for 13 years. He was jailed for life for killing a police officer during a bank raid in Hemel Hempstead in 1988.

But he escaped from a prison van in Wandsworth, south-west London, after four-and-a-half years in custody.

Art Hostage comments:

Read this story, below, from top to bottom, from August 2007.

Who was protecting James Hurley in Ireland, a large family..... ???

All part of the global picture........

OK, if the Stolen Vermeer is deposited in a Confession box for the Symbolism of Absolution.

The less said the better at this stage !!

Update, Update !!!

7.30pm, 19/11/07

When the Dutch Police reveal this was a chance encounter, because they noticed excessive use of electricity at the address and this led to Dutch Police raiding the address in the Hague expecting to find a Marijuana factory, and the arrest of James Hurley was just a coincidence, even saying it took 24 hours to identify him, this is what Dutch Police have been told to say.

The real truth is this arrest stems from the Office of none other than our old friend, General Bill Hughes, Godfather at the British version of the FBI, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, S.O.C.A.

Staff at S.O.C.A. were doing the conga last week.

Inter-agency protocol has been glued together by S.OC.A. and they are getting the green light to use methods normally only used by security agencies in terrorist investigation's.

Rather than just cut corners, S.O.C.A. marches straight across the investigation page, and then steps aside and allows Local Plod to make the arrests, be they Brit, Scottish, Irish or Dutch etc.

Remember the Da Vinci Madonna, that was sought as if it were a

"Da Vinci Dirty Bomb", well James Hurley has been sought as if he were Sheik Khalid Mohammad.

The reason James Hurley found himself in the Hague, at that address, was orchestrated from the office of Bill Hughes. S.O.C.A.

The details of which will become apparent over the coming weeks.

Furthermore, Anthony Kelly, who has just been cleared of murder in Limerick Ireland, will not get much of a break, holiday.

Why, well because there is work to do sorting out the global crime syndicate and international operations.

If Mr Kelly is not careful he will also find himself arrested and facing serious charges.

Mr Anthony Kelly, authorities are all over you like a rash, if you get caught don't say you were not warned.

Think it is safe in Morocco, Spain ?

S.O.C.A. have been there in the summer and are waiting for you to make a move, they have even bugged you Golf balls !!

Art Hostage advises, retire gracefully and drop off the radar !!


Will James "Whitey" Bulger be arrested next ?????????

Whitey Bulger will be arrested when the FBI has the desire to do so.

The same techniques will be used, the classic reducing the circle in which they can move, is the key.

A Law Enforcement operation is followed by an Underworld reaction, if the wanted person is forced to react, that's when Law Enforcement strike.

The FBI has a Trillion dollar system to call upon, so, when the time is right, Whitey Bulger will appear, whether Whitey Bulger will be alive is another matter, the political repercussions will dictate that, as well as the date of arrest for Whitey Bulger.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Dinosaurs Extinct, it was the Johnson's, Global Warming, it was the Johnson's, Dilatory, Incompetent Police, Blame the Johnson's !!

Men on Ramsbury Manor raid charge in court

Five men accused concocting an elaborate plot to burgle luxury country estates - including a multi-million pound raid on the home of one of Britain's richest men - yesterday stood before a judge to deny the offences.

Ricky, Albi and Richard "Chad" Johnson, along with Daniel O'Loughlin and Michael Nicholls all pleaded not guilty to one charge of conspiracy to burgle.

Chad Johnson, aged 32 years, and 31-year-old O'Loughlin also denied handling stolen goods.

The two counts heard at Reading Crown Court related to an alleged conspiracy for a crime spree across five counties where country mansions would be stripped of antiques and jewellery.

One of the properties raided was Ramsbury Manor in Wiltshire owned by property tycoon Harry Hyams.

It is thought that more than 20 million pounds worth of antiques were stolen, including a 17th Century clock worth one million pounds alone.

Mr Hyams is listed 155th on the Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated fortune of £320 million pounds.

He was responsible for building one of London's most distinctive buildings, Centrepoint.

All five defendants sat in the dock flanked by four security guards with two police officers in the court room. They spoke only to enter their pleas and instruct their defence teams.

Ricky Johnson, aged 52 years, Chad Johnson and Daniel O'Loughlin also face charges relating to a burglary at Waddesdon Manor, Bucks., which was owned by the Rothschild family and then bequeathed to the National Trust.

None of the defendants entered their pleas although the trial was listed to start on November 26.

Judge Christopher Critchlow told them: "This is a serious case and it demands an awful lot of work."

Prosecutor Paul Reid said that there would be 14 witnesses for the November trial which was expected to last for two weeks.

The five defendants will face the trial for conspiracy on January 7 and it is thought it will last up to five weeks.

Ricky Johnson, of Cirencester Road, Cowley, and 25-year-old Albi Johnson of St Pauls Way, Cheltenham, Glos., were released on bail.

Chad Johnson, O'Loughlin and 28-year-old Nicholls, all of Evesham Road, Cleeve Prior, Cheltenham, were remanded in custody.

Art Hostage comments:

So, the prosecution has 14 witnesses, will any of them be giving "Sewer Rat" Supergrass evidence ??

What other evidence has the prosecution got other than circumstantial and "Sewer Rat, Supergrass ??"

Has any property been recovered, bet there is none to speak of, other than the broken pieces found by Police that came from Ramsbury Manor.

The Gold boxes stolen from Lord Rothschild's Waddesdon Manor remain outstanding and it is rumoured that the valuation is only around £3 million for the whole collection.

However, this is just a fraction of their true value.

The true value would be something like £50 million trade and £100+ million retail, why so much, because the Rothschild collection of gold boxes is the finest in the world, including the collection held in the Louvre museum in Paris.

Remember there were over 100 gold boxes stolen, each one has a value of £500,000, many are worth millions, wonder why the value has been put so low ??

Perhaps it is to keep any reward offered, £50,000 in the Waddesdon Manor gold boxes case, to a bear minimum.

I don't agree with undervaluing stolen art.

The rewards that are offered are impossible to collect and only available to ex-Art Police investigators, so why not offer millions as a reward, it will not be paid in any case.

The two upcoming trials will be interesting to watch, not least because it is intended to revive the use of "Supergrasses, Sewer Rats"

Without any other primary evidence the reliance on Supergrass, Sewer Rat testimony is fraught with danger as seen in the past.

This revival of the Supergrass, Sewer Rat does not show Police are cunning and competent, it shows Police are dilatory, lazy and unable to bring charges on their own merit.

There is a case going on in Ireland, the main evidence is Supergrass testimony, already one defendant has been acquitted, the reason, the supergrass gave evidence of hearing voices in his head, a ploy to try and get the accused acquitted, whilst still retaining the perks of becoming a supergrass.

I wonder if, when the Sewer Rat, Supergrass gets into the witness box at these two trials, they say they have heard voices in their head, and it has all been a terrible mistake, the Police told the supergrass what to say, the Police are so desperate to get a conviction on these high profile Art thefts, they have rushed to charge innocent men, on tainted testimony from a tainted, soon to suffer from memory loss, supergrass, Sewer Rat.

Whether these men are guilty or not is not the issue.

The issue is whether there is enough credible evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt.

I am sure the defence lawyers have been asked to research every Supergrass trial, and subsequent appeal, to show a pattern of acquittals when the primary evidence is Supergrass, Sewer Rat testimony.
I am sure there will be comments over at Ruthie's Law about the use of Supergrass, Sewer Rat testimony, especially if all the other evidence is circumstantial.
To be continued...............

Friday, November 09, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Where's Samuel Smith-Hutchinson, 20, of Cheltenham ????

Men remanded over burglary spree

Friday, 13 October 2006

Two men charged in connection with a string of burglaries at country homes and cash machines across England have been remanded into custody.

Ricky Johnson, 53, from Cheltenham, was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and will appear at Reading Crown Court on 18 January.

Samuel Smith-Hutchinson, 20, of Cheltenham, was charged with burglary and will appear on 19 October.

They were among 14 people arrested in a series of morning raids this week.

Mr Smith-Hutchinson has also been charged with aggravated vehicle taking.

Police forces involved

Another five people from Gloucestershire were later arrested in connection with the raids.

Four people have since been released on bail until December.

The arrests, part of Operation Haul, were made in Worcestershire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

Officers have been investigating burglaries at Ramsbury Manor in Wiltshire in February, Woolley Park House in Berkshire in April 2005, and Stanton Harcourt Manor in Oxfordshire in November 2005.

West Mercia, Thames Valley, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire forces were involved.

Fast Forward to this coming Monday November 12th 2007

The Crown Court

at Reading

Daily List for Monday 12 November 2007 at OLD SHIRE HALL

Court 4 - sitting at 10:00 am



Plea and Case Management




T20067356 JOHNSON Ricky S


Art Hostage Comments:

The name Samuel Smith-Hutchinson, 20, of Cheltenham seems to be omitted from the list of defendant's ??????

Now, I wonder why, perhaps there is someone out there who can enlighten Art Hostage ??????

I also wonder if the media will run with this very important case ??

Upon another note, have these accused, presumed innocent men been incarcerated on remand for the last year or so ??

If so, then it is a sad indictment of our judicial system that sees presumed innocent men languish in jail awaiting trial, especially if they are found to be innocent.

Has the delay been conducted as a means to an end of keeping these men off the streets for fear they would commit High Value Art Crime ??

If so, then it is shameful, why, because art theft has not only remained ever too frequent, but has actually increased since these men have been in jail.

So much for the allegations of the Johnson family being responsible for all the major art thefts that happen regularly.

Did the Johnson's steal the Lowry's, no, did the Johnson's steal the Newby table, no, did the Johnson's steal the De Morgan pottery, no, and on and on I could go, with a list as long as your arm of art thefts that have occurred whilst these accused have been behind bars.

However, I stand to be corrected, if these accused have been on bail awaiting trial ?

There is much more to come out about this case and any contributions would be much appreciated.

Comments are open and anonymous is good, if you want.

Alternatively you can contact Art Hostage direct via

To be continued...................

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Rancid, Retrospective Sectarian Prosecution !!

'IRA chief' remanded over tax evasion

A Senior Irish republican has been remanded after appearing in court on charges of tax evasion.

Thomas "Slab" Murphy, a one-time alleged IRA chief of staff, faced nine charges of failing to file tax returns when he appeared at Ardee District Court in the border county of Louth

Judge Flan Brennan remanded Murphy on his own bail of 20,000 euro (£14,000) with an independent surety of 50,000 euro (£34,800).

He accepted as surety two plots of land put forward by Murphy's brother-in-law, John Kirk, and sister, Anne-Marie Kirk.

The judge said that as part of Murphy's bail conditions he must report daily to Dundalk Garda station, surrender his passport and reside at an address in Inishkeen, Co Monaghan.

Murphy is to appear before Dundalk District Court again on November 14.

Art Hostage comments

If a prosecution is based solely on alleged offences committed after May 8th 2007, then it is right to proceed, based upon the rule of law and the peace process, which, I might add, would not be where it is today without the support of the Murphy family, Thomas in particular.

However, if, as I suspect, this prosecution is based on alleged offences committed before 8th May 2007 then it is nothing more than a Retrospective Sectarian Prosecution, born out of some kind of sick public offering of a iconic Irish Republican, whilst lesser Irish Republicans enjoy the fruit of others labors.

Historically, conflict resolution has always begun with a blank canvas, that is the final part of the end-game of peace negotiations.

Both sides have to hold their respective noses and bear it.

If the same vigour was applied to truth seeking about Brit govt sponsored illegal acts I am sure there would be high profile prosecutions.

Whilst trying to put the past behind themselves, the Brit Govt does have a point about dragging up the past serves no purpose other than creating resentment, therefore, the same should be applied to the Murphy family, Thomas Slab especially.

The likes of Martin McGuinness, Gerry Adams, Johnathon Powell, Tony Blair, Bertie Ahern, David Reddaway, Gordon Kerr should look in the mirror and ask:

"What do we do when Slab Murphy's lawyers summons us to court to give evidence about how we sanctioned all of these dealings"

There has been a line drawn in the sand with regards allegations of illegal fundraising or black market earnings.

The line was drawn the day after power sharing, May 2007.

Even if a case can be made to prosecute Thomas Slab Murphy for pre May 2007 allegations, it should have been done in a more dignified manner.

I am certain if authorities had issued a summons to the Murphy Lawyers they would have made sure Thomas Slab Murphy appeared to answer the allegations.

This need not have been done in this manner other than to give the Brits some kind of sick pleasure at taking a swipe at the bedrock of modern Irish Republicanism.

I do hope the top Irish legal minds will be called upon to highlight what a rancid, sectarian, nasty, vindictive indictment this is, and it should be thrown in the bin forthwith.

Stolen Art Watch, The Underworld Empire Strikes Back !!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A painting worth £30,000 and two machine guns were among items stolen from a house in Ormskirk.

Also taken in the raid on Monday (November 5) was an £18,000 solid gold diamond set men's Rolex watch and a £10,000 men's platinum ring set with seven diamonds.

Burglars broke into the home on St Helen's Road between 7.30am and 10.20pm by smashing glass in a patio door and reaching in to unlock it.

The offenders searched the property before taking the valuable items.

A £30,000 original painting - Our Valley by Steven Townsend - featuring two dogs on a Lakeland scene in a large silver flecked wooden frame was snatched.

Also taken were a decommissioned 'Bren' World War Two sub machine gun and a decommissioned MG43 black German machine gun, worth £5,000 for the pair.

Other items stolen were a £1,500 black Canon digital camera, a £300 GPS watch, a £300 17" flat screen PC monitor, £750 cash and a sleeve of Lambert and Butler cigarettes.

DC Kelly-Anne Rosenthal, investigating, said: "I would appeal to anyone who was in the area or seen anything suspicious to get in touch. Some of the items stolen are quite distinctive and I would ask anyone who may come across them to get in touch."

Anyone with any information can contact Ormskirk CID on 01695 566443 or via Southern Communications Centre on 08451 25 35 45. Information can also be given about crime anonymously by telephoning Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

By Natasha Robson

Art Hostage comments:

Any Sith around the Ormskirk, Lancashire area we know ??

Apparently some of the Da Vinci accused telephoned Crimestoppers and asked if they would be line for a reward for the return of these stolen items.

The operator at Crimestoppers said:
"Aren't you in enough trouble, and hung up !!"

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Dilatory, Dibble, Police, True To Form !!

Lowry theft, Police raid photo !!


FOUR men arrested over the theft of £1.5m of Lowry paintings have been bailed.

The men, aged 31, 36, 22 and 24, were arrested on suspicion of robbery following early morning raids across Tameside on Monday, November 5. They have now been bailed until February next year.

Several valuable paintings, along with a palette and paintbrushes used by Lowry, were stolen during a house robbery in Cheadle Hulme in May.

Detective Constable Chris Barnes from GMP's Major Incident Team said: “The arrests follow months of work by officers responding to information passed over from the public.

“We have had a number of people come forward, both as a result of the media appeals and the recent Crimewatch appeal. We would like to thank those people but continue to appeal to anyone who has any further information on this to get in touch.

“A £70,000 reward remains available to anyone who provides information leading to the recovery and return of these paintings.”

The paintings stolen include: The Viaduct, worth £700,000, The Tanker Entering the Tyne, worth £500,000 to £600,000, a pencil sketch of The Surgery, worth £38,000, a pencil sketch of The Bridge at Ringley, worth £45,000, a pencil line drawing of The Street Market, worth £50,000.

Anyone with information should contact the police on: 0161 856 2482 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Art Hostage comments:

As predicted by Art Hostage, this was just window dressing for public consumption, to show Police are doing their job, yeah right !!

Bailed until next February, 2008, time for these guys to commit more violent crimes.

O'h and we still have the Lowry's outstanding !!

Told you Police jumped the gun, rather than track the stolen Lowry's before arresting these guys.

Dilatory Police, true to form !! (leaves room in disgust, shaking head !!)

Below, Police doing their own road markings !!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Art Hostage Passes Masters Degree !!

Art Hostage has passed !!

Got the results at noon today.

Interesting to note, during the Queens Speech to Parliament, Her Majesty broke from the script to announce Art Hostage had passed his Masters Degree, a roar went up from both sides of the House

So, now it is Art Hostage M.A. B.A. (Hons) A.H.E.C.

A very humbling experience.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, The Power of Prayer Works, Ask the McAllister's !!


Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., introduced a private bill on Friday to give a Wallington man from Northern Ireland and his two adult children permanent residency in the United States.

Malachy McAllister has been fighting deportation by the Department of Homeland Security, which maintains his involvement in a 1981 wounding of a Royal Ulster constabulary officer in Northern Ireland makes him ineligible to remain in the United States.

McAllister, who served a prison term in Northern Ireland for acting as a lookout in the shooting, has argued that it occurred during a civil war. At the time, he belonged to a paramilitary group opposing British rule in Northern Ireland. He has said he fears persecution if forced to return there.

"I'm elated; it minimizes the stress that my children and I have had because of the threat hanging over our heads of being deported," McAllister said. "Hopefully I will be able to think of the future, of my children's education."

Menendez's bill, supporters say, is a last resort for McAllister, who has exhausted court appeals against deportation, which followed a denial of his request for political asylum.

Rep. Steve Rothman, D-Fair Lawn, last year also introduced a private bill on McAllister's behalf, but it stalled in committee. A private bill is legislation on behalf of one person and must pass both houses of Congress and be signed into law by the president.

Though private relief bills rarely become law, Menendez's move likely will offer McAllister and his family a reprieve from deportation perhaps until 2009, when a new presidential administration takes over. Homeland Security officials typically stay deportation efforts while legislative action is pending on a private bill in Congress.

"This was a rare and unique case in which every determining factor weighed in favor of granting relief," Menendez said. "He fled Ireland under deadly circumstances, the dissenting judge in his case made a forceful argument on his behalf, and deporting him now could essentially be a death sentence."

McAllister's supporters, who have ranged from Irish-American activist groups to members of Congress, say that the stone masonry business owner has led a law-abiding life in the U.S. since he arrived in 1996.

McAllister and his wife, who died of cancer in 2004, and their children fled Northern Ireland for Canada after British loyalists fired 26 rounds into their Belfast home in 1988. They came to the U.S. after Canada denied the father political asylum."This is a strictly humanitarian issue," said Carol Russell of Morristown, who is part of the McAllister Family Campaign for Justice. "He's lived a good life in America. We all know Malachy's good character. "

Reach Elizabeth Llorente at

Art Hostage comments:

Through glazed eyes, Art Hostage declares,
"Freedom beckons, Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty the McAllister family are on their way to being free at last."

In a world full of bad news, this story brings a little light into the darkness.

Hopefully now the McAllister case will be resolved in 2009, when a new President is in the White House.

The power of prayer should never be underestimated.

A very big thank-you to the Lord.

May Your God go with you !!
Update !!
The actual paperwork can be found below:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Goldie for Freedom !!

Stolen art returned to Auckland Uni

Three priceless art works and manuscripts stolen from the University of Auckland over Christmas have been returned.

Thieves stole a $100,000 Charles Goldie painting, seven Colin McCahon poems worth $7000 and an unbound copy of the Oxford Lectern Bible valued at $100,000 from the library's special collections room while the university library was closed during the Christmas holidays.

A university spokeswoman said the items would be back on display soon but the Oxford Lectern Bible needed some repair work before it could be returned to display.

On Saturday, the New Zealand Herald reported an "elaborate deal" between police and an accused criminal had been brokered in an attempt to recover the items.

Police arranged for minor charges to be dropped against the man, who arranged the return of the artefacts.

The man, who appeared in Auckland District Court last week, was not involved in the theft but had learned who had taken the items and where they were.

Through a series of e-mails, the man said he had learned where the items were and that police would never find them.

The negotiation was conducted in secret, and included a show of "good faith" when the man returned the Oxford Lectern Bible.

The deal was concluded last week with the return of the Goldie.

Following the theft, the university increased security on significant art works and other valuable items in its collections.

The spokeswoman said a review of its security arrangements meant the university would be able to protect its collections while enabling access to them by the university community and visitors.

Art Hostage comments:

Miles Connor of Boston did the self same thing as this back in the 70's.

Miles lifted a Rembrandt from a Boston Museum and then returned it to authorities to get off other criminal charges.

In this case I think this guy facing charges got his mates to steal the Goldie or he paid the thieves to be able to use the Goldie painting as leverage in getting his criminal charges dropped.

A classic buy-back with criminal charges being the reward currency.

2007 is becoming the year of Stolen Art Recovery, which I shall review shortly.

Still time left in 2007 for some world breaking important news, keep you posted !!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Moron of the Week, Steven Lee Olson !!

Carlstadt man held in $1M art theft

Thursday, October 25, 2007


The Record North Jersey

Susan Tranquada said she wasn't impressed when her boyfriend showed her an old painting last year that he said he'd found in the basement.

"When you look at it, the faces of the children, they're scary," she said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, federal authorities arrested the heavily tattooed trucker and charged him with stealing the work -- an 18th-century masterpiece painted by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes that had been swiped from a truck on its way to the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan last November.

Steven Lee Olson contacted the FBI last year, telling the agency he found the 1778 oil painting, "Children With a Cart," in the basement of a rented home in Succasunna, Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Kosto told a federal judge in Newark on Wednesday.

Olson contacted his lawyer, who arranged to turn the painting over to the FBI at his Hackensack office.

So Tranquada said she was shocked when agents burst into their Carlstadt apartment late Tuesday as Olson sat eating takeout fried chicken in his underwear.

"[The FBI] said they cleared him six months ago. They said they found nothing on him," Tranquada, a 47-year-old waitress, said Wednesday outside the Hoboken Road home they have rented for two months. "And now they arrest him one year later?"

Without disclosing details, authorities said they slowly and meticulously traced the theft of the painting, leading to an indictment Monday that was unsealed with Olson's arrest.

Olson, 49, was brought into federal court in Newark wearing jeans and a gray "Hog Wild" T-shirt that featured a pig on a motorcycle. U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz ordered him held without bail pending a hearing next Wednesday. Kosto earlier called him a risk to flee and possibly to threaten potential witnesses.

Olson is charged with a single count of stealing an object of cultural heritage from the custody of the Toledo Museum of Art, a crime that carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

The oil painting was snatched Nov. 8 from an unmarked truck as it was being transported from its home in Ohio to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, where it was to be included in the exhibition "Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth, and History."

Insured by the Toledo museum for more than $1 million, the crated work was in the care of professional art transporters who stopped overnight at a Howard Johnson Inn off Route 80 in Bartonsville, Pa., about nine miles west of the Delaware Water Gap.

When they got up the next morning, they told investigators, they found that the lock on the back of the truck had been broken and the painting was gone.

Within two weeks, amid extensive media coverage, the painting was mysteriously recovered undamaged. The FBI provided no details of the recovery but acknowledged that its success was due in part to tips investigators received after posting a $50,000 reward.

Tranquada said she, Olson and their 5-year-old daughter were renting the Morris County house last year from a close friend. The day the painting was stolen, they had attended a birthday party for their friend's son, 27-year-old Roman Szurko, she said.

Tranquada said she didn't recall Olson slipping out that night, although FBI agents say they have records of him making a 10-minute call to her at 12:45 a.m. on Nov. 9. She told The Record she didn't remember that call.

Two days later, she said, Olson told her he'd been rooting around their basement when he discovered the painting. He proposed hanging it in their apartment, but she refused, citing the subjects' faces.

"I wouldn't put this on my wall," she said.

Some days later, while in the Union City office of Olson's employer, Hart Transport, Tranquada spotted a story in a New York City tabloid about the art theft.

She and Olson debated what to do.

"I literally wanted him to leave it on the side of the road and to call the cops," she said. But Olson told her he couldn't do that.

"He was in shock. We didn't care about the reward. We just wanted the thing gone and off our hands."

They took the painting to Olson's longtime lawyer, Warren Sutnick of Hackensack, who insisted on calling the FBI, Tranquada said. Agents came over and interviewed the couple separately at the lawyer's office, she recalled.

Sutnick could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

Over the ensuing months, she said, they stayed in touch with the FBI, and were eventually told that the investigation was over.

Then Tuesday night, a quartet of FBI agents took him away, Tranquada said.

"They said, 'You must've known we were coming.' "

N.J. Man Arrested in Goya Painting Theft

By CHRIS NEWMARKER – 3 hours ago

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A truck driver who stole an art masterpiece from an unattended transport truck, then claimed he found it in his basement was charged with theft, authorities said.

Steven Lee Olson, 49, was charged with stealing "Children with a Cart," a 1778 painting by famed Spanish artist Francisco de Goya, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. The painting was insured at a value of about $1 million.

In an initial appearance in federal court in Newark on Wednesday, Olson through his lawyer decided not to immediately contest his detainment. A bail hearing was scheduled for Oct. 31.

The federal public defender representing Olson didn't immediately return a phone message. A message left at a number listed for Olson also wasn't immediately returned.

The painting was being trucked to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City from Ohio's Toledo Museum of Art last November. It was stolen as the transport drivers spent the night at a Pennsylvania motel. They discovered it missing the next morning.

Within days, Olson contacted federal authorities through an attorney to say he found the painting in his basement, said U.S Attorney's office spokesman Michael Drewniak.

After a lengthy investigation, authorities determined that Olson, a self-employed truck driver, had lifted the piece himself, Drewniak said.

"It was a crime of opportunity that didn't pay," FBI agent Sandra Carroll said.

Olson was arrested without incident at his home in Carlstadt on Tuesday. He is charged with theft of an object of cultural heritage from a museum, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The painting was returned undamaged to the Toledo museum. In February, the museum allowed the painting to be included for a few weeks in the Guggenheim exhibit.

Goya painted "Children with a Cart" in 1778 as a model for a tapestry planned for the bedroom of a Spanish prince. The group of four children includes one boy blowing a horn and another with his back to the viewer.

Art Hostage comments:

Thankfully, this moron Olson has a brain the size of a Walnut.

First, to try and offer the painting back so soon was a fatal mistake because it shows recent possession.

Elizabeth Gibson waited years before she attempted to return the stolen Tamayo Mexican artwork, see story below:

She seems to have cracked it by being awarded $15,000 and a percentage of the sale price.

It appears she has stood up to public scrutiny, and maybe Law Enforcement scrutiny, so she collects her reward.

However, Elizabeth Gibson could find there is a sting in the tail, if Law Enforcement has its way, remember Olson was left hanging for a year, a sting in the tail could still be on the cards, more likely than not, they are working on it !!!!!!!

To really overcome any Public and Law Enforcement scrutiny when returning stolen art, the person should be able to command respect and be of a position whereby any suspicion would be counter-productive.

Second, "I found it in my basement" not as good as "I found it in a dumpster, years ago"

Criminals cannot hide behind a lawyer anymore because of legislation that obliges Lawyers to inform on their clients if they are party to information about possible wrong-doing, therefore any lawyer taking possession of, or control of stolen art is liable to prosecution, as we see in the Da Vinci case.

The moral of this story is:

"Art Theft, Forget about it"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Whitey Bulger in Rendition Flight !!

Art Hostage has learnt that Whitey Bulger will be appearing on TV in America shortly, after being arrested and flown straight to the States.

The extradition warrants have been sorted out, so due process will take about 30 seconds.

To save money and cut the American deficit, Whitey Bulger will share the flight back to America with Osama Bin Laden.

Oops, and, you've done it again, jumped the bloody gun !!

And next weeks lottery numbers are....................................

Stolen Art Watch, McAllister Fate in President Bush's Hands !!

Hib leaders plead McAllister case to president

By Ray O'Hanlon

The nation's highest ranking Ancient Order of Hibernians leaders have appealed to President Bush to intervene in the case of Malachy McAllister and his family.

The men's and ladies AOH national presidents have sent a letter to Bush on behalf of Belfast native McAllister, who, along with two of his four children, faces potential deportation to Ireland at any time.

In a separate statement, Massachusetts-based Jack Meehan and Dorothy Weldon acknowledged with gratitude legal and legislative initiatives of among others, New Jersey Representative Steve Rothman and Senator Charles Schumer, who has written to the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of the McAllisters.

""But let's face it. Now is the time for those who believe in the promise of America to act. The President alone or acting in concert with Congress can demonstrate what the Irish peace accord is supposed to mean - deliver justice to

Malachy and end his family's nightmare," AOH National President Jack Meehan said in the statement.

"The Attorney General and Homeland Security have spent millions to legally lynch this lone Irishman in a pointless exercise that could not possibly contribute one iota to national security," Meehan said.

Meehan's plea was echoed in the statement by AOH ladies president, Pennsylvania-based Dorothy Weldon

"We appeal to President Bush, whose concern for government excess is well known, and to his sense of what America must mean to those who have fled Afghanistan, Iraq and Burma. Malachy is just as entitled to asylum or relief from deportation as those who fled those conflicts and government persecution.

"Indeed, he has spent the last twenty years proving how worthy he is of a home in America," said Weldon.

The two Hibernian leaders, in their letter to the president, describe a case

in which McAllister is a "victim of a government bureaucracy that has run amok and lawyers too blind to do their duty to seek truth and justice."

The letter states: "We plea for your help in granting Mr. McAllister permanent residency status for three reasons.

"First, as a man who had served a prison sentence in Northern Ireland, Malachy was marked for death by loyalist vigilantes. He survived one attempt on his life and escaped garrison rule in Northern Ireland by fleeing with his family to Canada in 1988 and eventually to America.

"He has lived, worked, and led an exemplary life here ever since. A fundamental part of the 1998 Belfast Agreement, which we both have wholeheartedly supported, is reconciliation, release of prisoners, and justice.

"These concepts seem to have escaped the notice of the Department of Homeland Security which, on its own initiative, and not acting upon any government request, has relentlessly pursued deportation of Malachy nearly ten years after the accord was signed! This legal vendetta is wholly unwarranted. Malachy is no threat to this nation as a Federal Appeals Court has indicated. Cases such as this may keep an army of lawyers employed at government expense, but at the same time erode respect for the rule of law.

"Second, as the latest report of the Northern Ireland Independent Monitoring Commission indicates, the loyalist paramilitaries have not disarmed and are a real threat to individuals and to the peace process. Malachy's potential deportation to the North of Ireland has already prompted these same thugs to issue death threats to him and his family. The priority attention given to this deportation proceeding by the Attorney General and the Department of Homeland Security suggests a determination to add yet another victim to the tragic conflict in Ireland.

"Third, we share your concern for the reform of immigration law. Our support, and I believe yours, is derived in no small measure from an awareness of the hopes and dreams of the many who come to this country seeking a way of life free of poverty and despair, who wish to build a new life and to breathe the air of freedom and democracy enriched by the rule of law and justice.

"Malachy McAllister is the poster boy for the many in this country whose young lives knew nothing but persecution and who saw in America a place where one could live free of such fears. When President Reagan told the "freedom man" story of the Vietnamese boat people, he could have been talking about Malachy McAllister's life."

Meehan and Weldon conclude their letter by asking President Bush for his "early consideration of and action upon" their appeal on behalf of the McAllister family and "their legions of supporters here in their adopted country."

Art Hostage comments:

Please keep praying for divine intervention.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, I Confess, Nearly Perfect, Almost There !!

Elizabeth Gibson with the painting.

Published: October 23, 2007

It’s hardly a place you would expect to find a $1 million painting.

But one March morning four years ago, Elizabeth Gibson was on her way to get coffee, as usual, when she spotted a large and colorful abstract canvas nestled between two big garbage bags in front of the Alexandria, an apartment building on the northwest corner of Broadway and 72nd Street in Manhattan.

“I had a real debate with myself,” said Ms. Gibson, a writer and self-professed Dumpster diver. “I almost left it there because it was so big, and I kept thinking to myself, ‘Why are you taking this back to your crammed apartment?’”

But, she said, she felt she simply had to have the 38-by-51-inch painting, because “it had a strange power.”

Art experts would agree with her. As it turns out, the painting was “Three People,” a 1970 canvas by the celebrated 20th-century Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo that was stolen 20 years ago and is the subject of an F.B.I. investigation.

Experts say the painting — a largely abstract depiction of a man, a woman and an androgynous figure in vibrant purples, oranges and yellows — is in miraculously good condition and worth about $1 million. On Nov. 20 it is to go on the block at Sotheby’s as one of the highlights of a Latin American art auction.

Ms. Gibson said she did not suspect that the painting had any commercial value when she found it. “I am not a modern-art aficionado,” she said. “It was so overpowering, yet it had a cheap frame.”

The painting had been missing for so long that the owners, a married couple whom Sotheby’s would not identify, had long since given up hope of ever seeing it again. The husband, a Houston collector and businessman, had purchased “Three People” at a Sotheby’s auction in 1977 as a birthday present for his wife. He paid $55,000 for it.

Ten years later, when the couple were in the midst of moving from a house to an apartment in Houston, they put the painting into storage at a local warehouse. It was there that it disappeared.

The couple reported the theft to the local and federal authorities, and an image was posted on the databases of the International Foundation for Art Research and the Art Loss Register. They also offered a $15,000 reward to anyone who could help them recover it. But no credible leads surfaced.

The couple later moved to South America, and the husband died. It is his widow who is putting the painting on the market.

How “Three People” got from a Houston warehouse 20 years ago to the streets of New York remains a mystery. The painting’s disappearance so troubled August Uribe, an expert at Sotheby’s, that he volunteered to appear on “Antiques Roadshow” in a “Missing Masterpieces” segment in May 2005.

Ms. Gibson had hung the painting in her living room, but remained curious about it. She had gone back to the Alexandria the day after taking it home and asked the doormen there if anyone could tell her who had put it on the street.

“No one remembered anything,” she said. “All they said was that 20 minutes after I took it, the garbage truck arrived. This was truly an appointment with destiny.”

It took three years for her to realize that she possessed a stolen painting.

A few months after she hung it in her apartment, she said, she called a friend who had worked at an auction house and described the painting to him. “He asked me if it had a signature,” she recalled. It did. In the upper right-hand corner the artist had signed it “Tamayo 0-70.”

But her friend did not seem very interested in her discovery, she said.

More time passed, and one day she removed the painting from the wall and examined the back. There she saw several stickers — one from the Perls Gallery in Manhattan, now closed; another from the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris, where it had been exhibited in 1974; and a third from the Richard Feigen Gallery in Manhattan.

She called the Feigen gallery and told someone there about all the information on the labels. Days later, she said, the gallery called back to say it had no record of the painting.

A year or so after that, she said, she told another friend about the painting. “He showed me a Sotheby’s catalog where a Tamayo had sold for $500,000,” she recalled. He also went to the library and came back with a pile of books on the artist. One — a 1974 monograph of his work by Emily Genauer — had her painting on the cover. “I was stunned,” Ms. Gibson said.

She made an appointment to do more research at the Frick Art Reference Library, at the Frick Collection on East 70th Street. A librarian there directed her to the nearby Mary-Anne Martin gallery, which specializes in Latin American art.

She walked three blocks to the gallery, where she says she was told by someone that it was a “famously stolen” painting. “I was in a state of shock,” she said.

Realizing that she might have something very valuable, Ms. Gibson built a false wall in her closet to conceal the painting, carefully wrapping it in old shower curtains. After Googling the artist’s name, she discovered an image of “Three People” at the “Antiques Roadshow” Web site in reference to the “Missing Masterpieces” segment.

Searching the Web in May, she discovered that the episode would be rebroadcast the next day in Baltimore. She traveled to Baltimore by bus and checked into a hotel to watch the segment.

“It was very nail-biting, but the moment I saw it, I knew it was my painting,” she said.

Upon returning to New York, she immediately called Sotheby’s and made an appointment to see Mr. Uribe. “Just call me a Mystery Woman,” she says she told his office, not wanting to reveal her story until she was face to face with Mr. Uribe. She asked a minister from her church, the First Church of Religious Science, to accompany her and introduced herself as Mrs. Green.

“I asked her to describe the painting,” Mr. Uribe recalled. “And when she said it had a sandy surface, I knew it was the painting.” (Tamayo frequently ground sand and marble into his paint.) She also told Mr. Uribe about the stickers on the back, which offered further confirmation that she had the real thing.

Mr. Uribe visited Ms. Gibson’s Upper West Side apartment, and she began dismantling the false wall. “I saw only a corner of the canvas, yet I knew it was the painting,” he said. “The colors and surface were unique to Tamayo.”

Ms. Gibson will receive the promised $15,000 reward from the seller, as well as a smaller finder’s fee from Sotheby’s, which the auction house declined to disclose.

Sotheby’s informed the F.B.I. that “Three People” had been found. James Wynne, the agent in charge of the case, said that because a criminal investigation was continuing, he could not discuss whether the agency had any clues to who stole the work years ago.

“Finding a $1 million painting in the garbage is very unusual,” Mr. Wynne said. “It’s a real New York story.”

Art Hostage comments

With a little tweaking, this could be a foretaste of bigger and brighter times ahead !!

Hail Mary...................

Ah, tis a Silver tongue ya have there Art Hostage !!
If anyone finds this cartoon, below,offensive please ask, and I will remove.

It is meant as a sincere comical reaction to some incredible news.