Art Theft Journal

In this journal you will go beyond class material and explore art theft. Given the enormous value (cultural, political, and financial as well as aesthetic) of artworks today, it should come as no surprise that many have been the target of art thieves. These include Leonardo daVincis Mona Lisa, Edvard Munchs The Scream, and the relief sculptures from the frieze of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, now in the British Museum in London. But if you prefer to address an art theft not listed here, you are free to present it in your blog instead, doing independent research. Consult the following articles. Lord Elgin – Saviour or Vandal?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/greeks/parthenon_debate_01.shtml Art’s Great Whodunit: The Mona Lisa Theft of 1911 http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1894006,00.html Stolen’Scream’ Painting Recovered After 2 – Year Search http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/31/AR2006083100783.html Scream Stolen from Norway Museum http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3588282.stm For your journal select one of the artworks listed above. If you prefer, present your own choice of a famous art theft! Describe the factual circumstances of the theft answering questions such as:

Who stole the artwork and why? What were the circumstances of the theft? Is there an ongoing controversy regarding the theft? Was the artwork recovered? If so, did the theft impact the value of the artwork and in what way?

2. Critically analyze the differences between “ordinary crimes”, for example, a bank robbery (or any other lucrative crime) and art thefts. Address questions of motives, justifications, benefits, problems, etc. Why would any criminal choose art theft over any other crime? You may speculate but your answer should also be based on the material provided in the videos. Reminder: Make sure your journal contains an introductory sentence about the topic and a conclusion. And remember that all assignments are written to the uninformed reader.

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