Cellini II

February 17, 2008

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Last year, I posted about the theft and return of Cellini’s masterpiece in Thank Heavens for Cell Phones! From an article in the New York Times on the dim wittedness of art thieves:

Many of the most notorious art thefts in past decades bear him out and illuminate a strange disconnect between the enduring mystique of art theft and the reality of its perpetrators. The theft in Vienna in 2003 of a gold-plated saltcellar made by Benvenuto Cellini, valued at $60 million, was traced to a 50-year-old alarm-systems specialist with no criminal record. The police, who caught him after he tried to ransom the sculpture, called him a “funny guy” who had decided to take the Cellini more or less spontaneously. A divorcé who lived alone, he kept the sculpture under his bed for two years.