Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Rewards being paid are like Harry Potter, a Figment of the Imagination, unless of course you are Ex-Police.

Art theft and 'rewards'

Da Vinci painting insurance payout

The owner of a stolen Leonardo da Vinci painting has received £3m from his insurers.

Madonna with the Yarnwinder was stolen from the home of the Duke of Buccleuch - Scotland's richest man - on 27 August.

The artwork is valued at between £25 and £50m and was stolen by a four-man gang at Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway.

A spokesman for the Buccleuch estate said complex insurance issues remain unresolved.

He said: "It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

Two of the men who posed as tourists overpowered a female member of staff and took the artwork.

The gang fled in a white Volkswagen Golf car, later found abandoned in woodland.
A fine arts loss adjuster said the painting was one of the most important stolen in the UK in the last 70 years.

The da Vinci work, which experts say was painted between 1500 and 1510, depicts the Madonna with the infant Jesus holding a cross-shaped yarnwinder.

It is said to symbolise the crucifixion of Jesus.
Police issued an e-fit and CCTV footage of the suspects and one of the man who bought the getaway car.
The 80-year-old Duke said the family had been "deeply saddened and shocked" by the theft.

David Lee, the art critic and Editor of Jackdaw, said: “The Da Vinci Madonna stolen from Drumlanrig Castle in 2003 is so recognisable that thieves would have a better chance of selling the Crown Jewels.

“If they have a brain larger than a pickled onion they will park it in the back of a wardrobe and sit on it for a couple of years. I suspect it will be offered eventually through a middleman at an amount tempting enough to an insurance company to pay a ‘reward’. ”

Reply From Mr The Honourable David Scully

Sir, You suggest that the Leonardo stolen from Drumlanrig Castle might “be offered eventually through a middleman at an amount tempting enough to an insurance company to pay a ‘reward’ ” (report, August 28).

It is illegal for an insurance company to pay a reward, without the express permission of the police. Permission would not be given to pay anyone connected with the crime or any middleman.

As the largest insurer of art in the world, it is our unwavering company policy not to countenance ransoms, even if paid through middlemen.

In any case, it would make absolutely no commercial sense for an insurer to pay such a “reward” as it would simply encourage the thieves to steal more art, thus diminishing our cultural heritage (and insurers’ profits) further.

Yours sincerely,
(Underwriting Director),
Axa Art Insurance,
106 Fenchurch Street,
London EC3M 5JE.

Art Hostage Comments:

There you have it, straight from the Horses mouth, David Scully, who represents the Worlds biggest Art Insurer AXA.

Secondly, the story about the Duke of Buccleuch only recieving £3 million insurence payout is a total fabrication designed to make a reward of £100-200,000 attractive.
Mark Dalrymple has been quoted to say, at a London Art Crime Conference, and this news report, "there is £1 million reward to the right person."

We all know what Mark Dalrymple means, Dick Ellis or Charlie Hill, if they promise not to forward any money to their informants can collect the £1 million reward.

The true story is that the Madonna was fully insured for £50 million and the Duke of Buccleuch was paid out in full.

Authorities did not want to alert the Underworld to this fact as it would make ransom demands higher.

By dealing with the likes of Dick Ellis, or any other ex-police officer with regards recovering stolen art, will only ever result in "Lining Dick Ellis and other Ex-Police colleagues Pockets"

Please read this article to reveal Dick Ellis and Charlie Hill's roles in major sting operations.

I love this extract from page 2:

"n 1994 the art-and-antiques squad was on a roll. After some years in abeyance, it had been revived in 1989.

It had an immediate success, recovering several paintings stolen from the Beit collection in Ireland in 1986, and notching a further coup in 1992 when it recovered a painting by Pieter Brueghel, Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery, stolen from London's Courtauld gallery 10 years before.

The fate of the Brueghel is illuminating. Since the Brueghel - like the Turners - was unsaleable on the open market, it is likely to have been used instead as an alternative currency within the criminal world, whose denizens like to talk of 'laying down' stolen paintings, like vintage wine, until their value can be realised.

It may also have been used as collateral for funds raised for drugs or other criminal deals. Sometimes, says Mark Dalrymple, head of the loss adjusters Tyler and Co, who specialise in the art market, these deals can become quite labyrinthine, 'and you end up with half a dozen people having an interest in the picture'.

By 1991 the Brueghel had reached a high-ranking London criminal, who decided to cash in his investment.

He commissioned four minor London villains to sell it on his behalf. Somewhat naively, they telephoned Christie's to ask how much 'a Brueghel' was worth.

Then they called the director of the Courtauld, Dr Dennis Farr, and told him they had purchased the Brueghel only to discover it was stolen - and the Courtauld could have it back for £2m. Both Christie's and Farr told the art-and-antiques squad about the gang's approach.

The squad's head was Dick Ellis, a detective sergeant renowned for his talents for running stings, above all in devising some extra ingredient to give them plausibility or 'edge'. 'There's an art to running an undercover operation,' Ellis says now. 'You've got to be imaginative.' ('They are quite fun,' he adds.)

Ellis now constructed a sting to recover the Brueghel. He recruited two characters: one was Farr, who would play himself. The other was to be a brash American, a part to be taken by one of the Yard's undercover officers, Charley Hill, who had spent much of his life in the US - his father was American - even serving as an officer in Vietnam.

The edge to the sting lay in introducing a whiff of illegality that would appeal to the sellers. Farr told them that the Courtauld Institute could not be seen to buy back a stolen painting, and anyway did not have £2m at its disposal. However, Hill was a wealthy American who was willing to buy the painting on the Courtauld's behalf.

It worked to perfection. The sellers were invited to meet Farr and Hill at the Savoy hotel in London. They were still asking £2m for the painting, and Hill showed them a bag containing 'show money', or the 'flash' - £100,000, the maximum the police were allowed to draw. The sellers, says Hill, 'effed and blinded and said it wasn't good enough' and walked out. The police already had ample evidence and the four men were arrested, receiving sentences of up to five years. (The Brueghel was found at the home of an alleged accomplice, who claimed he did not know it was stolen and was acquitted.) "

Today both Dick Ellis and Charlie Hill still employ those methods, but with the added bonus of getting the reward money as well, also they get paid by insurers and victims whilst they investigate, quids in all round for these guys.

Those with inside information about stolen art must first retain a lawyer, then get the lawyer to approach the relevant Police force investigating the particular art theft, then if Police issue a Comfort Letter to the lawyer, then and only then will the stolen art surface.

There is no need to ever engage with Dick Ellis, not that anyone will from now on, as these are just middlemen who can claim rewards using the Old Boy Network, Nepotism Inc, on condition they never share rewards.

Engaging with Dick Ellis, Charlie Hill and co will only ever result in them receiving reward money, although Charlie Hill is regarded as an outcast because he had the audacity to pay a £100,000 reward for recovering the stolen Titian.

Charlie Hill's only mistake was to pay out the reward to David Dudden.

If Charlie Hill had kept the reward for himself, like Dick Ellis does, then he would still be on the Exclusive Ex-Police Gravy Train.

However, Charlie Hill has been offered a way to redeem himself, to become Hardy Kruger, "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold."

This involves Charlie Hill convincing Mr Sheridan and Mr McGinley via Letterkenny Donegal, to retrieve some of the Gardner Art and allow it to surface.

Once it has been recovered, Charlie Hill will apply for the Reward from the Gardner Museum Boston, which, if successful, will be on the condition that he not share it with Mr Sheridan and Mr McGinley, or anyone else for that matter.

Problem is, if this happens, then the rest of the Gardner Art will be buried deeper, even worse, one or more artworks may be destroyed on video, then put up on You Tube as a Cocaine fuelled message from the scorned Underworld.

This is the reason why the Gardner Art must be treated as a special case, whereby things other than reward money from the Gardner Museum are offered and legally binding.

Details of which I will go into soon.

For any other stolen art recovery, rewards will never be paid, period !!

This not a slur against Dick Ellis or any other ex-police officers, it is a statement of fact and the rules that govern recovering stolen art and who can receive reward payments.

If anyone falls for the Sting operations or charms of Dick Ellis, Credit to Dick Ellis, bigger fool informant.

It is not Rocket Science, it is the Law.


Anonymous said...

Dick Ellis is trying to sting the Irish guys who hold some Gardner art.

He is going to get them all arrested soon, so beware of the Dick Ellis false promises and undercover sting operation happening now in Ireland.
July 3rd 2012

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you the truth about Dick Ellis.
He has stood in a court of law and committed perdury on more than one occasion.
Nobody can lie better than Dick.
He has stolen money, He has stolen paintings.
He was very very lucky I never had a tape recorder on me when talking to him once otherwise he would have got three years for perdury.
How he has never been arrested is amazing.
How he sleeps at night I dont know.
Just had a thought ask Mr Dick Ellis to take a lie detector test, questions to be asked 'have you ever committed perdury in a court of law'.
Let the real Dick Ellis stand up.
You are a crook who has managed to get away with it for years.
You will not make any complaints about what I have written Dick because you know if you were to take the lie detector test you would be found out.