THE ART STEALERS by Milton Esterow


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Esterow's art thieves confine themselves almost entirely to famous paintings. And while the reader is quite happy following the capers and their detections, he really does wish the author had dilated more upon the paintings themselves. Few of Esterow's criminals are very ingenious. They go in and out of museums ""on a foggy night"" or simply walk up to a painting in broad daylight and out the front door. The most famous thief was Vincenzo Perugia who, in 1911, entered the Louvre, released the Mona Lisa from her frame and left for Italy where he later claimed the picture rightfully belonged. Other robberies include the more recent Riviera thefts. Painters occasionally show up for a page, and there is one rare moment when Picasso submits to a police interrogation. The chapter on Hitler's acquisition of art treasures features the Ghent Altarpiece as star which was covered in last year's The Rape of Art (p. 212) although not so entertainingly.

Pub Date: July 11th, 1966
Publisher: Macmillan