Monday, February 11, 2008

Classical WETA/WGMS - FM -- Formerly Public Classical Music In The Nation's Capital -- Makes Top 10 Notable Art Heists Of Past Generation

_ "February 2008: Armed robbers steal four paintings by Cezanne, Degas, van Gogh and Monet worth $163.2 million from the E.G. Buehrle Collection, a private museum in Zurich, Switzerland.

_ December 2007: Picasso painting valued at about $50 million, along with one by Brazilian artist Candido Portinari valued at $5 million to $6 million, are stolen from the Sao Paulo Museum of Art in Brazil, by three burglars using a crowbar and a car jack. The paintings were later found.

_ February 2007: Two Picasso paintings, worth nearly $66 million, and a drawing are stolen from the Paris home of the artist's granddaughter in an overnight heist. Police later recovered the art when the thieves tried to sell it." ...

_ January 2007: Priceless public radio station, WETA-FM, is stolen from the public by Sharon Percy Rockefeller, who after deciding that classical music on public radio was indeed valuable after all, accepts junior partnership in a merger offer from failing, commercial-driven WGMS-FM. Ms Rockefeller then tries to disguise heist by painting merger as "the new Classical WETA/WGMS-FM", while jettisoning all independent music curators and vocal and choral music, and virtually all American and modern classical music. One of largest cultural property thefts in American history.

_ "February 2006: Around 300 museum-grade artifacts worth an estimated $142 million, including paintings, clocks and silver, are stolen from a 17th century manor house at Ramsbury in southern England, the largest property theft in British history.

_ February 2006: Four works of art and other objects, including paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Monet and Dali, are stolen from the Museu Chacara do Ceu in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by four armed men during a Carnival parade. Local media estimated the paintings' worth at around $50 million.

_ August 2004: Two paintings by Edvard Munch, "The Scream" and "Madonna," insured for $141 million, are stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway, by three men during a daylight raid. The paintings were recovered nearly two years later.

_ August 2003: A $65 million da Vinci painting is stolen from Drumlanrig Castle in southern Scotland after two men join a public tour and overpower a guide. It was recovered four years later.

_ May 2003: A 16th century gold-plated "Saliera," or salt cellar, by Florentine master Benvenuto Cellini, valued at $69.3 million, is stolen from Vienna's Art History Museum by a single thief when guards ignored a burglar alarm. The figurine is later recovered.

_December 2002: Two thieves break in through the roof of the Vincent van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and steal two paintings by van Gogh valued at $30 million. The men are convicted a year later, but the paintings were not recovered.

Associated Press "List of Notable Art Heists" Washington Post February 11, 2008


Happy Birthday, Mother!

And many thanks for driving us to all those music lessons (Dad too!); and for taking me to all those Library of Congress and National Gallery of Art evening concerts when I was a pre-teenager and a teenager.

Autumn II by
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944).
Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Wassily Kandisky Concerning the Spiritual in Art 1911

The extraordinary Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. was founded by American Duncan Phillips (1896-1966), a great art lover [unlike WETA President and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller]. The collection establishes a subtle link between the symbolic works of European modern art (Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, Picasso, Braque, Kandinsky, Klee, etc.) and those of the post-war generation of American artists (Edward Hopper, Ansel Adams, Milton Avery, Alexander Calder, Hans Hofmann, Richard Diebenkorn, Clyfford Still, Robert Motherwell, Susan Rothenberg, Elizabeth Murrey, etc.)

Photo credit: (c) ADAGP, Paris and Phillips Collection. 2008. All rights reserved.


If you support American Classical Music for the Nation's Capital, please call or write:

Ms. Sharon Percy Rockefeller
President and CEO
Classical WETA-FM
2775 South Quincy St.
Arlington, VA 22206
tel 703.998.2600
fax 703.998.3401


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