Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Art Saga

This Munich art episode continues to amaze Germans.

First, the old guy who was questioned on the train going into Germany from Switzerland....with vast sums of money?  Cops came to his house and found roughly 1,500 paintings.....most of them rolled up and just sitting there.  The art historians say everything is in good issues.

Then after three days of tagging and removing the art (over a year ago)....the old guy just suddenly leaves.  No one has seen the guy since then.  It's a total mystery over where he went, or if he just went off into the woods to commit suicide.

What the authorities will say.....they figure the current count at 1,500.  They aren't exactly sure what the original number was, and won't take guesses on this.  Who knows.....maybe there were 2,500 to start with?

Where this mess goes next?  Well....that's an interesting piece.  One gets the impression that once they tag and identify each single piece.....some art museum in Munich wants to display everything, at least for a while.  The confidence rate for returning the items to the original owners?  From last night's TV news....I'd say some attempt will be made....but don't put much confidence in the outcome.  If fifty of the paintings get back into private will be lucky.

The rest of the collection?  It ends up as Bavarian state humble guess.  Some folks will be peeved and disagree on this angle.  But the Bavarians aren't going to waste tons of time and resources on finding dead people, and their dead descendents (again, my humble opinion).

Then we come to this interesting piece of the story.  What intrigued the cops to a great degree about this old guy?  He'd never paid taxes....ever.  Other than having a passport, and registered in the city....there's virtually no record of this guy.  No pension, etc.  No one ever came to visit the guy in his apartment.  He was a virtual unknown character.  They can't even say how he spent his money over the last couple of decades.

Germany is this nation of order.  Everyone has records.  Everyone is noted in some book.  Everyone has a trail.  This guy?  Nothing to really say of any trail.  It does not even appear that he had a credit card, and that he moved around strictly on cash.  I'd have doubts that he even had a phone in the apartment, or had any mail sent to him.  Traveling outside of Europe?  I'd have doubts that he ever made such a trip.  Big-spender?  No....absolutely no evidence of that.

What did he do with the profits of the sales that he made from the art?  No one knows.

There's a brilliant five-star movie sitting here and waiting to be written.  The trouble have no ending....and the art?  It just gets shuffled around and in ten years....quietly absorbed into some Bavarian state collection.

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