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Crimes of the Art

"Oops. Couldn't resist perching on this magnificent bed in the glorious V&A last night....and set all the alarms off. Thank you to the @vamuseum staff for being nice @dolcegabbana ???" (photo by @elizabethhurley1/Instagram)
“Oops. Couldn’t resist perching on this magnificent bed in the glorious V&A last night….and set all the alarms off. Thank you to the @vamuseum staff for being nice @dolcegabbana ???” (photo by @elizabethhurley1/Instagram)

Crimes of the Art is a weekly survey of artless criminals’ cultural misdeeds. Crimes are rated on a highly subjective scale from one “Scream” emoji — the equivalent of a vandal tagging the exterior of a local history museum in a remote part of the US — to five “Scream” emojis — the equivalent of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist.

Elizabeth Hurley Hurled Out of Museum

crimes-of-the-art-scream-4Actress Elizabeth Hurley ran afoul of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s security staff when she posed for a photo (subsequently posted on Instagram) reclining on the 1580 Great Bed of Ware. The transgression immediately set off the museum’s alarms, and Hurley and her companion were escorted from the institution.

Verdict: She evidently forgot the cautionary words of her most famous co-star.

Neighbors Can’t Stand Florida Man’s Giant Chair Sculpture

crimes-of-the-art-scream-2Artist Steven Chayt of Winter Haven, Florida, has angered his neighbors with a 24-foot-tall sculpture of a chair he is building on his property. “He sets the tone for the front of the neighborhood and it’s disturbing,” local resident Vanessa Barfield told The Ledger. Chayt, for his part, doesn’t see what the big deal is and plans to complete the sculpture by wrapping it in metal and decorating it with a clown face.

Verdict: Coming from a state that already has giant sculptures of magicians, vikings, and the devil, so much outrage over a monument to a noble piece of furniture smacks of hypocrisy.

Grand Embezzlement Museum

A July 2014 construction photo from the site of the Grand Egyptian Museum (photo via Grand Egyptian Museum/Facebook)
A July 2014 construction photo from the site of the Grand Egyptian Museum (photo via Grand Egyptian Museum/Facebook)

crimes-of-the-art-scream-4The administrative prosecution of Egypt is launching an investigation into the alleged embezzlement of some $20 million in funds provided by foreign organizations to support the construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

Verdict: The three-year construction delay — the museum was originally scheduled to open in August — must have tipped them off.

Oscars Take Down OscART

crimes-of-the-art-scream-1Under pressure from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Vienna Chamber of Commerce has changed the name of its biennial art award, formerly known as the “OscART,” to the “viennaARTaward.” The change allegedly came following threats of a lawsuit over the Austrian art award’s similarity to the name of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’s annual awards ceremony, which you may have heard of, the Oscars.

Verdict: And the Oscar for biggest bully goes to …

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