The recent theft of more than $160M in art from the Beuhrle Collection in Zurich has had me quite interested in how such a thing did, and continues to, happen.
Time and time again these little museums or collections have hundreds of millions of dollars worth of great art, and they protect them with the security equivalent of wet paper bags. They take no real precautions, then wring their hands and pull their hair when it happens and cry,” How did this happen?”
Forbes magazine posted this great article about what it thinks are the “greatest” art heists of all time. I think, in these terms, that the theft at the Beuhrle ranks up their, though none of them actually have that Cary Grant “To Catch a Thief” thing to it, no sneaking in at night, avoiding laser alarm systems or dropping in on a caribiner from the cieling to cut a delicate hole in the glass with a glass-cutter.
They also mention the 1990 theft at the Gardener in Boston, America’s greatest unsolved heist. That art is worth about $300M.
I have better security in my house for nothing more than a Victorian child’s tea cup set. My security’s name is Fiona. She’s two, and she’s a mean shot with a stuffed monnkey. So beware…