Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Stolen Art Watch, Brazil Picasso Recovered as Police Follow the Art Hostage Thesis !!

Brazilian police recover stolen Picasso print, as wiretap leads to arrest in museum robbery

SAO PAULO, Brazil: Police have arrested a suspect in the heist of two Pablo Picasso prints from a museum in Sao Paulo and recovered one of the works, police and a museum official said Saturday.

Inspector Cesar Carlos Dias said information obtained through wiretaps of gang members involved in unrelated robberies led police to Ueslei Barros, the suspect in the July robbery.

Barros led police to one stolen Picasso print, "The Painter and the Model," hidden in an attic of a building on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, Dias said.

"We were taken by surprise," Dias said. "We were keeping an eye on Barros and two other men because we had information they were planning to steal automatic teller machines and rob banks. In a tapped phone conversation, the Picasso print was mentioned."

Barros and the other two men, who were not involved in the art heist, were arrested Friday night in a parking lot of a shopping mall, Dias said.

Barros, a 30-year-old Sao Paulo resident, was arrested on charges of robbery and had not yet been assigned a court-appointed attorney on Saturday, police said.

Marcelo Araujo, director of the Estacao Pinacoteca Museum, told reporters the print was in its frame and in "perfect condition." Police found the print inside a plastic bag.

On June 12, three robbers also stole Picasso's print "Minotaur, Drinker and Women" and the paintings "Women at the Window" by Emiliano DiCavalcanti and "Couple" by Lasar Segall.

The prints and paintings have a combined estimated value of 1 million Brazilian reals (US$630,000 at current exchange rates), museum officials said previously.

The July robbery was the second high-profile art theft in Sao Paolo in less than a year.

In December, the paintings "Portrait of Suzanne Bloch" by Picasso and "O Lavrador de Cafe" by Candido Portinari, an influential Brazilian artist, were stolen from the Sao Paulo Museum of Art by three men who used a crowbar and car jack to force open a steel door.

The framed paintings later were found in a house on the outskirts of Sao Paulo. One of the suspects in that theft — a former TV chef — turned himself over to police in January, who already had two suspects in custody.

Art Hostage comments:

This is what Art Hostage said hours after the Brazil Heist on June 13th:

Brazil Art Heist Take Two !!

Art Hostage has learnt the latest Brazil Art Heist in Sao Paulo was carried out by friends/guns for hire of the first Heist accused and the Picasso's will be offered back if previous criminal charges are dropped.

Art Hostage is waiting on names and the address where the current stolen art is being held hostage, more to follow.

So, Brazil Police, don't bother looking at the airport, the Picasso's are local and will be offered back soon.

Seems Sao Paulo Police took the advice of Art Hostage and have recovered one of the stolen Picasso's.

What really happened was Police went into negotiations with Moises Manoel de Lima Sobrinho, the TV Chef involved in the first Picasso theft, who incidentally recruited the gang to steal the Picasso prints to use as a bargaining counter to have the original Picasso theft charges dropped.

So, having organised the Picasso print theft, Moises Manoel de Lima Sobrinho, then informs on the gang to Police, who then listen in to conversations, which included talks with Moises Manoel de Lima Sobrinho, which leads Police to arrest these guys and recover one of the stolen Picasso prints. Police may have jumped the gun a bit but could still recover the outstanding Picasso prints if the deal with Moises Manoel de Lima Sobrinho, goes through.

Back-story and timeline:

More to follow.................

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Gives Underworld Migrane as Police Sting/Raid Moves Closer !!

A valuable stolen painting has been recovered after a police sting operation in Belfast.

Going Home, by William Conor, was taken from the James Wray Gallery in James Street South last month.

The artwork is valued between £20,000 and £30,000.

A member of staff from the gallery called police after someone contacted him claiming that there were ways in which the painting could be returned.

One man has been arrested in connection with the theft but has since been released on bail.

Art Hostage comments:

Yes, there are ways to recover stolen art without getting arrested, and even getting paid a fee for services rendered.

First of all there was not any public offer of a reward for the recovery of this William Connor painting, so anyone requesting a reward is breaking the 2002 Proceeds of crime act and this is also covered by the laws governing extortion demands.

Second, if the person requesting payment does not stand up to scrutiny by, in this instance, the Police in the Northern part of the island of Ireland, then no payment will be made.

Thirdly, Police seem to have adopted a policy of arresting anyone helping facilitate the return of stolen art, before bailing them to a later date, or as with the Bill Reid icons stolen in British Columbia, Canada, arresting then releasing the returnees.

To have achieved any kind of reward for the recovery of this artwork the returnee would have to accept what ever is offered post recovery and not make any request or demand of a certain figure.

Then, the returnee would have to satisfy Police they were not involved with the theft and subsequent handling, then after receiving a letter from Police confirming this, they can then receive what ever is offered, no right of appeal.

To satisfy Police the returnee would have to be party to the sting operation and would also have to give evidence at any future trial, against the very people the returnee has negotiated with in order to return the stolen artwork.

If the returnee had met these conditions in this case they would have received about 10% of the lowest estimate, or 10% of the insurance claim, which ever is lower.

It is my understanding those with the stolen Vermeer from the Gardner museum have taken note of this stolen art recovery and will consider it in their deliberations on how to get rid of the Vermeer from their clutches, without getting themselves arrested, or left without neither Vermeer or money owed against it.

In the meantime Police tracking the stolen Gardner art are getting ever more confident they can recover the stolen Vermeer from the Gardner Museum by conducting a raid and arresting those in possession. The several current sting attempts are ongoing and they may result in the Vermeer and co being recovered during a supposed handover of money for the art in traditional sting fashion, at smart hotel, a country retreat, or a lay by on a isolated road.

However, Art Hostage to the rescue, the option of keeping the Vermeer and co in the underworld is becoming a bit of a millstone around the neck, so to speak.

"Headache" stolen art, that is what the Gardner art has become.

The historic trophy value of handling the stolen Gardner art has long gone and now most people who have been involved at one time or another are mightily relieved to be rid of the stolen Gardner art.

The window for the current handler of the stolen Gardner art, Vermeer, is fast closing and if action is not taken then they will be left without Vermeer or money owed.

The only sensible thing left to do is make the hand back on your terms, by that I mean make sure the Vermeer and co are placed in a Catholic Church confession box to be discovered by the Priest. The person who is tasked with taking the Vermeer and co to the Catholic Church confession box must not, I repeat, must not have had anything to to do with the original Gardner Heist, or and more importantly, not been involved in the subsequent handling of the Vermeer and co.

Once the Vermeer and co have been discovered, then the nominee can claim, via the Priest, or alongside the Priest, the publicly advertised $5million reward offered by the Gardner Museum.

I would like to say however, if it is only the Vermeer the reward may be $2.5 million, as it is the most valuable of all of the stolen Gardner art. The Rembrandt Storm on the Sea of Galilee would be $1.5 million, and the rest of the stolen Gardner art would be $1million.

Guys, you know who I mean, it is time to contact Anthony Amore, Head of security at the Gardner Museum, Boston 617 278 5114. Forget all the other Golden promises, Anthony Amore is ready to talk Turkey, he will even drop everything, grab his passport and attend a meeting.

Art Hostage has done as much as he can, explained all the pitfalls, found a suitable place to hand back the Vermeer and co, without leaving any trace, Catholic Church confession box, offered up Anthony Amore, who really can offer an avenue for payment.

All that is left is finding your nominee who can stand up to Police scrutiny and claim the reward without any fear of prosecution because they have genuinely not been involved, other than just returning the Vermeer and co to the Catholic Church confession box.

At least then there is a good chance of the reward being collected, even worse way a legal battle could commence to force the reward payment, and if the Catholic church is involved the reward would be paid to save any embarrassment and shame created by reward refusal.

I confidently predict that if the Vermeer and co are not returned via a Catholic church confession box then they will turn up in a Police raid leaving the handler without Vermeer and co and perhaps more importantly, without monies owed against the Vermeer.

Heads, you could lose, tails you definitely lose, Vermeer, money, and possibly Liberty.

Something to think about as the clock is ticking.


The Stolen Gardner Art is firmly in a cul-de-sac with nowhere to go but back to the Gardner Museum Boston.

If you will allow Art Hostage to play Devil's Advocate for a brief moment.

The Vermeer and co are in my possession owing me outstanding money for drug deals that have been intercepted.

Now, the American millionaire offering to buy the Vermeer and co, probably FBI Icon Robert Wittman.

The Irish Millionaire offering to buy the Vermeer and co, probably Garda, Irish Police.

The Eastern European Godfather millionaire offering to buy the Vermeer and co, probably Rocky, who recovered the stolen Turners from Germany.

The Underworld contact offering to buy the Vermeer and co, probably he is in trouble and is making a deal to sting you, whist receiving a lesser sentence for his efforts.

When the guys come back to pay off the debt owed against the Vermeer and co, Special Branch, FBI and Police will be watching and all of you will get arrested.

You see the pattern developing here, the Vermeer and co have outlasted their usefulness in the Underworld and when the music stops and they are recovered, someone will be left holding a debt or owing a debt.

Arguments will follow, shootings may occur, people could lose their lives, criminal business will be disrupted, other Godfathers will be angry because of all the heat the Vermeer and co have generated, and so on, and on....

The final two options left are one, keep the Vermeer and co hidden, although this is just going to generate heat and the possibility of loss increases all the time as Police devote more resources to finding the Vermeer and co.

or second take the Catholic church confession box route with a nominee claiming the reward.

This will give you "Some" Chance of a reward, any other option will give you "No" chance of reward, and could cost you your liberty as well.

But go ahead, ignore the advice of Art Hostage enter into some kind of deal and get stung, arrested, keep the Vermeer and co hidden and risk their discovery, a thought that hangs over you like the Sword of Damocles, no, you must be a pragmatic intelligent person to have come this far in your career, possession of the Vermeer and co risks flushing all you have achieved down the toilet.

Oh and in case you are wondering, Art Hostage could claim the reward for handing back the Vermeer and co. if you offered the Vermeer and co to Art Hostage to hand back.

I would have to decline, why, well imagine Art Hostage trying to hand back the Vermeer and co and saying they were found behind the bike shed ?

Art Hostage would get a slap around the face by Vernon "The Bookkeeper" Rapley, FBI Icon Robert Wittman, Tricky Dick Ellis Mark "The Elitist" Dalrymple, and Julian Radcliffe.

Art Hostage would then be sent packing without so much as a thank you and the threat of prosecution ringing in his ears.

You see, Art Hostage is not trying to hoodwink, sting or other-wise.

No golden hello's from Art Hostage, no golden promises, just an untraceable venue to hand back the Vermeer and co, Catholic church confession box, and the advice to to give Anthony Amore a chance to explain how you may receive the reward.

Anthony Amore Boston 617 278 5114 or Anthony Amore,

Finally, if you feel confident in you nominee then just go ahead and facilitate the recovery of the Vermeer and co via the Catholic church confession box and start the ball rolling with the reward claim.

If Art Hostage is writing how the Vermeer and co have been recovered as a result of a sting, or recovered during a police raid, then you will only have yourself to blame, as I have tried till I'm Blue in the face to tell you to hand them back before they get snatched back.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Stolen Art Watch, A World Without the Gardner Art, Vermeer's Concert, Rembrandt's Storm, or is Dane-geld the only Answer ???

Stop the appeasement of art and antiquities thieves

Museums give criminals incentives to steal and steal again by paying ransoms for art works


From Saturday's Globe and Mail

July 5, 2008 at 12:00 AM EDT

On June 17, Interpol held a conference in Lyon, France, to increase co-operation among its 186 member nations in the fight to retrieve stolen cultural property. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the rise of the Internet and the globalization of the world economy, trade in stolen art and antiquities has been rising steeply.

Interpol is the international police agency through which countries share information on international crime. Of the missing art objects now on Interpol's list, 516 were taken from Canadian collections.

The number of art thefts in Canada has been growing, the most notable being the robbery in 2004 of five ivory statuettes from the Art Gallery of Ontario snatched in broad daylight. They are worth almost $1.5-million and were eventually returned to the owner. The gallery's insurer offered a reward of $150,000. After the police said that "persons of interest" had been spotted on a video, a criminal defence lawyer representing unidentified persons arranged for the return of the statuettes. These events have attracted speculation that the insurance company might have paid over the reward as a ransom, as this is one way in which thieves make their money.

Worldwide, the illegal art and antiquities trade ranks third in value, after illegal arms and drug smuggling, and in many ways they are connected. For example, Mohamed Atta, the terrorist hijacker, by his own account had sold stolen antiquities to finance the Sept. 11 attacks. The average gain by thieves on a piece of stolen art is 10 per cent of its value; in the advanced industrial democracies, art theft seems to have become a form of proxy kidnapping.

That explains why some paintings have been stolen and recovered more than once. Rembrandt's Jacob de Gheyn III has been stolen four times. It is the world's most stolen painting. Sometimes, one group of criminals gives stolen art as collateral to another group, to get credit for another illegal deal, a kind of crooked banking and credit system for robbers.

In the 1990s, a number of world-class paintings were stolen from the Gardner Museum in Boston. The heist took place on St. Patrick's Day (Boston has one of the largest communities of Irish Americans), and a fair amount of research suggests that rogue members of the IRA did the job. It is thought the paintings are now overseas, perhaps in Ireland or Britain.

"Criminals go where the money is," says FBI Special Agent Robert Widman, senior investigator on the agency's rapid deployment Art Crime Team (ACT). Each year the trade in illegal antiquities is thought to be in the range of $8-billion. A growing percentage of this "business" is perpetrated by organized criminal gangs who also deal in drugs and arms. These gangs work most effectively in countries that are plagued by corruption and terrorism and whose border officials can be bribed. This includes most of the "archaeological countries" in the Near East, Asia and Latin America. At the same time, the trade has triggered a growing business in copies, fakes and forgeries. One curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York believes that his museum contains a number of smuggled fakes that the Met's authorities are ashamed to acknowledge.

It is not only low-lifers who despoil countries and institutions of their cultural heritage. More than a hundred years ago, Hiram Bingham, a member of Yale University's aptly named secret society, the Skull and Bones, went on a swashbuckling Indiana Jones-like adventure into the highlands of Peru. There he rediscovered the Incan site of Machu Picchu and brought back a hoard of 5,000 objects to the university museum.

After 18 months, the museum agreed to return the artifacts to Peru, but it has taken Peru more than a century to mount a legal case to persuade Yale to hand them back. That will happen some time next year. After Bingham left archaeology for a seat in the U.S. Senate, not surprisingly, he eventually joined the select group of American politicians whom Congress has censured for misconduct.


The Italian government is at the forefront in investigating the illegal antiquities trade, in the spirit of the new archaeological responsibility. They do not pay ransoms. They convincingly argue that they are dealing with well-organized international crime syndicates that drive the trade in illegal art and antiquities.

To show their good faith they have returned an obelisk looted from Ethiopia during the fascist period in the 1930s. Based on first-rate detective work and a more than 10-year, concerted legal inquiry with full government support, they sued employees and associates of the Getty Trust and the J. Paul Getty Museum for allegedly importing illegally excavated antiquities into the United States. They have also pressured the Met in New York to return antiquities that were clearly smuggled out of Italy. In some instances, the Met has complied.

Though the greatest art thieves of the 20th century were the Nazis, who despoiled thousands of European Jews, as well as the galleries and museums of numerous conquered countries, of their paintings and artifacts, the later surge in art theft and antiquities smuggling was triggered by a Sotheby's auction held in 1957 in London. To heighten the glamour and no doubt raise the bidding, the auction was held at night and guests were asked to wear evening dress. Prices hit the roof and they have been going up ever since. Art and art theft are now big business, and much of what is put up for auction has false provenance, or none.

The most colourful art and archaeology thief of the past 20 years has been Jonathan Tokeley-Parry. He is a Cambridge-educated (moral sciences!) scholar and expert restorer, who spent much time in Egypt. He became friendly with Egyptian antiquities dealers and smugglers and perfected the art of disguising real ancient Egyptian antiquities by painting them, to make them look like cheap imitation tourist artifacts for export, and then sent them to Europe for sale. Investigated by the British authorities, he eventually spent three years in jail for his activities, though before he was sentenced he dramatically drank hemlock in an apparent suicide attempt.


Most of Iraq is unexcavated, but with the breakdown of national authority and the continuing insurgency, archaeological sites are being looted every day, if not every hour. Three years ago the former director of the Iraqi National Museum warned that the sale of looted artifacts was funding the purchase of arms and ammunition for use against the newly constituted Iraqi armed forces and police and their Western allies.

This has been confirmed by Marine Reserve Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, who argues that, much as the trade in opium funds the Taliban in Afghanistan, the illegal excavation, smuggling and sale of looted Iraqi antiquities is contributing to the funding of both Sunni and Shia militias in Iraq. An entire nation's archaeological heritage is being destroyed by the civil war, while financing it at the same time. The case of Iran is more complicated, as a state sponsor of terror that also wants the West to repatriate its antiquities.

In 2006, victims of a terrorist bombing attack carried out by Hamas in 1997 in Israel and sponsored by the Iranian government, were awarded damages against that government by a U.S. court. This means that the court can seize any assets belonging to Iran held by American institutions, including those holding archaeological objects that Iran wants to repatriate. During the 1990s, a significant hoard of Iranian antiquities was illegally excavated and smuggled out of the country and into the U.S. According to American law, the institutions holding them are now acting as temporary owners, or guardians of Iranian national property in the United States.

Under the U.S. Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, the victims of this especially vicious act of state terrorism may rightfully win legal ownership of these artifacts, with the right to resell. So the court has frozen their return to Iran, a precedent that suggests that some justice may be extracted from a largely dirty and unjust trade.

Art owners and museums still pay huge ransoms for stolen art. Our publicly funded museums and private auction houses have encouraged illegal trade by buying imported antiquities and muddling their provenance. Anyone who buys antiquities smuggled out of Iraq is indirectly paying for the civil war there.

In the 1930s, the British had a word for such behaviour, "appeasement." It would be wise for museums and the public to reject and actively oppose this underground trade and its addiction to paid ransoms.

Canada is not immune. Although local thieves seem to have carried the heist in May of art works by Bill Reid and other artifacts worth $2-million, at a museum in British Columbia, it is only a matter of time before the larger syndicates see Canada and Canadian museums as easy targets.

In the B.C. theft, a reward was offered, a tip was received and most of the works were recovered. Suspects were questioned, but no one was charged. According to the CBC, there was a deal of some sort.

If we continue to appease thieves, smugglers and terrorists, we can be sure that more of our museums and galleries will be plundered and held for ransom. By doing nothing we will be giving a free hand to organized crime in our own and other countries.

Geoffrey Clarfield is the former curator of ethnography at the National Museums of Kenya. He is a Toronto-based anthropologist, musician and writer

Art Hostage comments:

As you can imagine Art Hostage has much to say so I will try and add comments over a period of time.
First and foremost I want to draw attention to this paragraph below:

"In the 1990s, a number of world-class paintings were stolen from the Gardner Museum in Boston. The heist took place on St. Patrick's Day (Boston has one of the largest communities of Irish Americans), and a fair amount of research suggests that rogue members of the IRA did the job. It is thought the paintings are now overseas, perhaps in Ireland or Britain."

The so-called rogue members of the IRA were in fact members of the INLA, a totally separate entity to the Provisional IRA.

One of the Gardner Museum thieves did make a reference using the term "Mate" which is an Irish or British expression rather than a term used by an American.

Post Gardner Heist approaches were made to the FBI by Joe Murray, a man with close links to both the Provisional IRA and also the INLA, who is alleged to have purchased the stolen Gardner art for $300,000 post theft, about a deal involving the stolen Gardner paintings being returned for the release of Dominic McGlinchey who was in jail as a leader of the INLA and also a close family friend of Joe Murray.

The FBI did not agree to any kind of deal and the Vermeer painting stolen from the Gardner Museum made its way to Ireland where it is now being used as collateral for drug deals.

Those drug deals have been intercepted and there is now an Underworld debt owed against the Vermeer. Both Irish Police and the FBI have been offered the Vermeer on many occasions but refuse point blank to make any kind of deal other than hand back the art and then claim the reward, which we all know will result in the FBI, Irish and British authorities refusing to sanction any reward payment.

The stand off continues with those in possession of the Vermeer refusing to hand it back without their drug deal money paid and authorities refusing to make any kind of deal.

However, there was a chance to recover the Vermeer last year which I posted about, linked below:

As to the whereabouts of the rest of the stolen Gardner art then that is still debatable, some still in or close to Boston being held by associates of David Turner perhaps, held by members of the Italian mafia who hail from Providence Rhode Island, perhaps, if this is so then these stolen Gardner artworks may be returned sooner rather than later as Mr Frank Salemme could be released this month if those Gardner artworks appear.

For my part, Art Hostage has always tried to establish a middle ground in the recovery process, that being a Catholic Church confession box as a neutral venue.

Any payment before, or during the recovery of the Gardner art will inevitably be a sting, why, because that is the job of law enforcement and any deals done whereby payment is made before or during the recovery of the stolen Gardner art would be unlawful and result in the indictment of all concerned.

However, if the stolen Gardner art is placed in a Catholic Church confession box and the Priest taking that confession reports the discovery of the stolen Gardner art in his confession box then no-one will be arrested for retuning the stolen Gardner art.

As for trying to claim the reward offered by the Gardner Museum, that has always been the hardest part of all, for obvious reasons.

The Catholic Priest could claim the reward on behalf of the person who placed the stolen Gardner art in the Confession box, but then again how trustworthy would the Catholic Priest be ??

Although, the INLA have used Catholic Priests before when handing class A drugs seized from drug dealers for destruction.

Whilst the payment of the reward money is the final thing to be worked out, all concerned now agree that a Catholic Church Confession box is the only place to be used for the actual recovery of the stolen Gardner art, as this will not result in arrests for the recovery, something law enforcement have reluctantly agreed to.

Until then the Gardner art continues to be held Art Hostage by both the Underworld and Law Enforcement.

In the meantime Law Enforcement are pulling out all the stops, especially in Ireland to try and sting those with the Gardner art, and also using all means to locate the stolen Gardner art before raiding the locations with extreme force.

The recovery of the Gardner art is not in doubt, it only a matter of how, where and when that is still to be decided.

To those who say the refusal to make any deals with regards the Gardner art has stopped further art thefts, then all the evidence proves this to be a conspiracy theory judging by the amount of art theft worldwide.

Solution is to treat each case on its own merits and if a deal is done then it should be kept secret, unless the architect of said deal does not get paid their fee.

Then the inevitable legal action will expose the deal and undermine future deals and prevent informants coming forward with vital information needed.

For dedicated followers of the Stolen Vermeer blog you may wonder why I have not mentioned much about the real Nelson Mandela of Irish Republicanism, General Thomas Slab Murphy lately ???

Well, General Thomas Slab Murphy is well aware of the benefits he could receive if he can use his influence in getting the Garner Museum's Vermeer handed back via a Catholic Church confession box.
Unfortunately, up until now Irish Brit and American authorities have refused to give any indication of credit for General Thomas Slab Murphy if he he facilitates the return of the stolen Gardner art, Vermeer in particular. We are only talking about a reduction in the sectarian tax demand, not even giving any of the Gardner Museum's reward money, still Authorities will not concede any ground. Review the Ransid sectarian Prosecution of General Thomas Slab Murphy below:

Both sides in the whole Gardner Heist affair, law enforcement and the Underworld are acting like spoilt juveniles, a case of threatening to throw ones toys out of the pram if they don't get what they want.
For art lovers worldwide this means the world is denied some of the top ten artworks in existence, bloody shame, shame on the Underworld and also shame on Law Enforcement.

Art Hostage will comment further on this article later...............


Geoffrey Clarfield calls it appeasement of art and antiquities thieves, Art Hostage calls it Dane geld and uses Rudyard Kipling to explain why, see below:

IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,
To call upon a neighbour and to say:
"We invaded you last night - we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say:
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we’ve proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray,
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say:

"We never pay any one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost,
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!"