Category Archives: Hilarious Art news

Funny stories about art or art thefts of crazy artists

IDIOTS! Italian Student Smashes Sculpture While Taking Selfie

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A 19th-century copy of the ancient Greek statue the Drunken Satyr has been the victim of a vicious selfie attack.

It may have seemed like the perfect photo-op, but things quickly went south when an Italian student looking to impress friends on Instagram broke an early 19th-century statue by hopping in its lap to snap some selfies.

Titled The Drunken Satyr, the work is a copy of an ancient Greek sculpture housed in a museum hallway, outside a room with more valuable Greek originals which were fortunate to avoid falling victim to the student’s misguided photographic urges. His supreme lack of common sense was caught on video by security cameras at Milan’s Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, but it is unclear if the student got his desired shot before shattering the statue’s leg.

https://news.artnet.com/in-brief/italian-student-smashes-sculpture-while-taking-selfie-6

Priceless Bernini Fountain Damaged By Dutch Drunk Soccer Fans

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THE BLITHERING IDIOTS

Employees at the Dutch company Royal Woudenberg have offered their services in repairing a 400-year-old Pietro Bernini fountain damaged by a group of drunken Dutch soccer fans last week, Reuters reports.

During a Europa League match between the Rotterdam team of Feyenoord and the Italian team AS Roma , fans not only trashed the La Barcaccia fountain and surrounding area, which is at the foot of the Spanish Steps, but also caused permanent damage to the structure, which is now chipped and splintered. The city is still investigating the full extent of the damages, and residents have laid flowers on the boat-shaped fountain. Italian police arrested 29 vandals.

Royal Woudenberg, which is owned by parent company Janssen de Jong and is credited with renovating Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, is prepared to spend up to €50,000 ($56,795) on the repairs, and will seek outside help should the cost exceed that number. The Dutch government has said it will support individual initiatives to make good the damage.

The employees reportedly came up with the idea while discussing the damage to the fountain during their lunch break on Tuesday. They extended the offer via a letter to the Italian ambassador stationed in the Netherlands.

“We found what happened really shocking and wanted to make a gesture to the Italians,” said Lily Derksen, a spokesperson for Janssen de Jong. “We simply said we would be happy to repair the fountain.”

Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten also announced on Tuesday that Dutch authorities are sending a team to Rome to aid Italian police.

 

https://news.artnet.com/in-brief/priceless-bernini-fountain-damaged-by-drunk-soccer-fans-26

Clumsy Tourist Trips and Smashes 4,000-Year-Old Greek Vase

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A Minoan vase similar to the one smashed

A hapless museum-goer was taking in the ancient exhibits at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum on the Greek island of Crete, when she suddenly tripped and fell. In doing so she, grabbed onto a 4,000 year-old Minoan vase to break her fall and shamefully smashed the prehistoric artifact, the Daily Mail reports. (See Cy Twombly Sculpture Accidentally Smashed at Menil Collection).

The Greek Culture Ministry said the culprit suffered minor injuries to her legs, while the vase on the other hand, was completely destroyed. Restorers at the institution are optimistic, however. After assessing the damage and sending it to be repaired, they have declared that the vase could be back on display soon.

The same vase was discovered by archaeologists bearing traces of an ancient restoration, suggesting that it was damaged by some clumsy Cretan 4,000 years ago.

The Minoan people inhabited Crete from 2000 to 1500 BCE. The civilization left behind several settlements, tombs, and cemeteries, now much visited ruins. Most artifacts discovered on the island have ended up in the Heraklion museum.

Whilst museums do their best to keep artifacts safe, it seems they can’t always stop human nature, as there have been numerous recent examples of visitors and staff inadvertently damaging artworks.

 

https://news.artnet.com/in-brief/4000-year-old-greek-vase-smashed-302563

HILARIOUS! SELFIE TAKERS DESTROY PRICELESS ART

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Statue of the two Hercules

The scourge of the selfie has struck again: a pair of tourists accidentally broke an Italian sculpture while taking a photo with it, knocking off a portion of the statue’s crown, which shattered on the ground.

The incident took place in the northern Italian city of Cremona, and involved Statue of the Two Hercules (circa 1700), a marble statue of the city’s coat of arms held by two figures of Hercules. The sculpture is considered a symbol of the city, as the demigod is said to have founded Cremona. The piece was originally displayed above the city gates (demolished in 1910), but since 1962 has been located under the portico of Loggie dei Militi, a historic 1292 building that formerly housed city militia.

The never-ending quest for the perfect selfie is, as we know, not without consequences, or embarrassment. In Cremona, the two perpetrators have reportedly been identified by the police, though it is not clear if authorities intend to press charges.

Experts are reportedly being brought in today to access the damage and determine whether or not the piece can be repaired.

 

https://news.artnet.com/in-brief/tourists-smash-italian-statue-while-taking-selfie

Master Forger Wolfgang Beltracchi Saw His Painting in Albertina Museum

 

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Wolfgang Beltracchi with his lawyer

The notorious German art forger, Wolfgang Beltracchi has claimed on a German talk show that he “recently” saw one of his paintings hanging in Vienna’s Albertina Museum. Beltracchi made the claim on the ZDF show Markus Lanz.

He was recently released on probation after serving three years of a six-year prison sentence for creating 14 fake artworks purported to have been painted by the likes of Max Ernst and Heinrich Campendonk.

Last year Beltracchi made a similar claim on the Austrian TV show Talk im Hangar-7, suggesting that one of his fakes may be among the Albertina’s collection, without divulging which work it was. At the time it was speculated that the fake may have been Max Pechstein’s paintingLying Female Act with Cat (1909), from the collection of expressionist expert Hermann Gerlinger. The painting was part of a 2007 exhibition at the museum.

Salzburger Nachrichten reported that in response to Beltracchi’s latest claim, the director of the Albertina Museum, Klaus Albrecht Schröder, told the Austrian radio station ORF-Radio Ö3 that he intends to get in touch with the forger to ascertain whether he was talking about the painting featured in the 2007 exhibition or a different artwork.

“I will make contact and ask if it is the painting from the Gerlinger collection or a different artwork,” he said. “Of course we want to know. I said at the beginning that the prosecution made a grave mistake not to use the case to discover all of the fakes.”

https://news.artnet.com/in-brief/master-forger-wolfgang-beltracchi-claims-he-saw-his-painting-in-albertina-museum-26

HILARIOUS! GERMAN ART AND FORGERY-GIACOMETTI

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Giacommeti’s Walking Man

A court case has been brought against a German ring who stand accused of knowingly attempting to put a forged Alberto Giacometti’s sculpture on the market.

A 67-year-old assessor named Wolf G., and a 60-year-old art dealer named Hans K., have been accused of fraud and falsification of documents. Wolf. G’s ex-wife Ulrike G., a 63-year-old lawyer and her 92-year-old mother have been accused as accomplices.

According to court documents Wolf. G acquired a fake Giacometti sculpture in 2008 in a barter deal with a man identified as Lothar Se., who was a member of criminal gang surrounding the Dutch Giacometti forger Robert Driessen.

Driessen and his gang are estimated to have made €8 million ($8.9 million) selling forgeries until they were apprehended in 2011. Police discovered over 1,000 bronze Giacometti forgeries in the gang’s warehouse. The authorities melted down the sculptures, but as the current court case shows, many are still on the market.

In March 2009 Wolf G. unsuccessfully attempted to consign the fakeWalking Man sculpture to a Swiss auction house, asking CHF 5 million ($5.3 million) for it. A Giacometti expert identified the sculpture as a copy and it was sent back.

Wolf G. and art dealer Hans. K subsequently attempted to sell the sculpture to a private collector for €350,000 ($390,000), but the deal collapsed after the collector was unable to secure a loan.

Several months later the forgery was offered to Sotheby’s, Frankfurt where it was rejected once again.

Following a third unsuccessful sale attempt, Lothar Se. took back the forgery and was arrested after trying to sell the work to an undercover detective for €1.5 million ($1.6 million). The subsequent investigation led detectives to Wolf G., Hans K. and Ulrike G.

The case is already being compared to the German master art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi, who was released from prison in January.

https://news.artnet.com/in-brief/giacometti-forgery-fraud-court-2durer albrecht sex giacommeti walking man germans art frauds rbi

BIZARRE! The $179 mill PICASSO;FIFA STINK; art implosion

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DON’T FORGET THE PAINTING WAS BOUGHT BY A MEMBER OF QATAR’S AL-THANI FAMILY, THE SAME FAMILY WITH THE DEAD 48-YEAR OLD PRINCE FROM DRUGS,  AND MAYBE INTENDED AS A BRIBE TO FIFA? AFTER ALL QATAR GETS THE WORLD SOCCER CUP AFTER RUSSIA,  PUTIN BRIBED FIFA WITH A PICASSO STOLEN FROM THE HERMITAGE AND QATAR HAS TEMPERATURES OVER 140 DEGREES.  ARE THE FOOTBALLERS GOING TO SURVIVE THAT HEAT?

The $179.4 million sale of Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) (1955)  at Christie’s  was greeted with the usual media frenzy, but no one who was paying attention was truly shocked. A lot of the commentary focused on the mind-numbing sum as a symbol of inequality—but then inequality is the one stable fact of contemporary life.Yet something remarkable did happen between the Picasso sale and the last auction-house record at Christie’s, the $142.4 million sale of Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud in November 2013

In inflation-adjusted terms, that means that between Bacon’s $142 million two years ago and Picasso’s nearly $180 million last week, a new threshold was crossed.

Les Femmes d’Alger isn’t just the most expensive painting ever sold at auction. It is really the most expensive painting ever sold at auction.

 

HOW COME NO ONE TALKS ABOUT INFLATION OR THE FILTHY RICH?

The existence of inflation isn’t exactly an obscure fact, so why this hasn’t gotten more attention inChristie’s official PR.

Maybe emphasizing the existence of inflation makes all their other “records” immediately seem like a lot of hype, which is what they mainly are.

AND THEN THE CRASH IN ART MARKETS BEGAN!!!!!!!!!!

The auction houses don’t want to be trumpeting the line of thought that the last time the market flew this high was just before an epoch-making global crash that it has taken us a quarter century to return from. It’s much better to talk about how collectors are “chasing masterpieces” or how its all about the fact that now “art is an asset class”—talking points, incidentally, that were also very much a fixture of the late-1980s chatter about the art market boom.

In any case, we are, as of last week, in uncharted art-market territory. Does the fact that this milestone has been passed mean that a red light should be flashing for observers?

 

FACT: IF THE STINKING RICH GET RICHER, ART MARKETS WILL THRIVE.DSDDDSD

The answer, it seems to be found almost entirely outside of the auction houses: If the wealthy continue to get wealthier, the art market will thrive. 

DZ created by a maniacal property bubble that was shortly to implode in a spectacular way, issuing in decades of stagnation for Japan. In 1990, the Bubble Economy was already coming apart, and at Christie’s, beneath the mega-lot fireworks, the art market was already showing signs of stress.

 

GLOBAL ECONOMIES COMING APART-APOCALYPSE HAS BEGUN

This does not seem to be exactly where we sit in 2015. Our global economy is riddled with contradictions—ask a Greek—but the rich are making out like bandits at the moment: The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development released a report saying that the gap between rich and poor is at its highest point since their record-keeping began. In the auction room, the sound of champagne corks popping drowns out all worries.

 

DR. DOOM, WORLD ECONOMIST-ART AS MONEY LAUNDERING, TAX EVASION AND THEFT

What schemes are going on behind the scenes to keep it all together, we cannot know. The economist Nouriel Roubini (aka “Dr. Doom,” aka a “minor collector of contemporary art”) has made some headlines of late addressing the art world’s seedier side. “As I study and go to galleries and art fairs, I see that there is a lot of behavior that is shady at best,” he told CNN. “Some people use art as a form of money laundering…. Other people use money for forms of tax evasion…. The behaviors of the auction houses have become problematic.”

No one on the inside is going to spoil the party by dishing on such shenanigans now, with business booming. But as far as we can draw historical parallels between the two moments, we might just take the opportunity of Les Femmes d’Alger,  through the lens of history,  SIGNALS the kind of nasty business that might well be building up beneath all the happy talk about “new records.”

https://news.artnet.com/market/picasso-painting-broke-real-record-300

PICASSO, PUTIN BRIBES FIFA THIEVES-HERMITAGE THEFT

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The world of international soccer was rocked  when seven officials from its governing body, FIFA, were arrested, and many more indicted, by US and Swiss authorities in Zurich on charges of racketeering, fraud, and money laundering as part of an investigation that the US Justice Department has declared has only just begun. But what does this have to do with art?

It’s alleged that soccer authorities systemically took personal bribes, some $150 million according to the New York Times, to sway their decision-making about things like who would get to televise games, who would oversee the worldwide soccer organization, and who would get to host the World Cup.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was accused this past December by England’s 2018 World Cup bid committee of having bribed Michel Platini, the president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and FIFA executive committee member with a painting by Pablo Picasso in exchange for voting for Russia to stage the next World Cup. The painting was reportedly taken from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

The committee got its information about the Russian bid “from a network of British embassies and private intelligence firms staffed by former MI6 officers” and was disclosed in a dossier that parliament published.

Perhaps it’s because the Russian President has a greater vested interest in Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup than previously thought.

https://news.artnet.com/in-brief/putin-fifa-scandal-picasso-303249?utm_campaign=artnetnews&utm_source=053115daily&utm