Art of the Heist: The Lady In Gold

That video was mentioned to me the other day rather randomly by a man I struck up conversation with while out and about. It’s basically about what could be considered the “Mona Lisa of Vienna.” Interesting story there. Gotta admit though that having the collection broken up in the end and taken out of public view strikes me as kinda sad. Wish the collection could’ve toured more art centers around the world first at least. But then again I don’t comprehend the financial value set on art these days. That alone is mystifying. $71 million? $136 million? EACH. That’s just insane to me.

The Jewish family heirs of the woman painted are now set for countless generations. That’s a lot of damn money.

Would’ve been better if the Austrian art museum had agreed to play ball earlier and offered the heirs some sort of fair compensation in exchange for being permitted to continue showing them as a complete collection there. Amazing that the legal contest went as far as it did. I do feel a bit bad for the people of Austria and travelers to the area who lost a collection they valued and enjoyed. But the heirs should’ve been cut into the situation earlier on, considering how much profit and popularity the collection had generated over time. There was enough to go around. Greed…

I don’t know. I’m not one to hang out at art museums, though every few years find myself in one. Coffee house local art is a bit more my speed. Some bars display some cool art too. I can appreciate the art scene and do own a couple of pieces from professional artists, received as gifts, but we’re talking pieces that cost a few hundreds dollars each. Seen some good art in my day and appreciate looking around to see what’s out there. Even graffiti art can be cool in my book. Just depends. A lot of what’s selling for astounding amounts doesn’t strike me as all that craze-worthy. Or that art should even be treated like that and taken to the extreme as shown there toward the end at Christie’s auction in the video. Blows my mind. That’s rich people’s trifles.

Was never much of a fan of the Mona Lisa either. Klimt’s pieces struck me as more interesting than that at least, and the background story was interesting. And now those pieces are scattered to the wind. And the Lady in Gold’s heirs are now rich. C’est la vie…

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