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.
Danish Elvis Museum All Shook Up
A museum devoted to Elvis Presley in the town of Randers in Denmark has been forced to rebrand, changing its name from Graceland Randers to Memphis Mansion. Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. brought a lawsuit against the Danish institution — which is housed in a replica of Presley’s Graceland home twice the size of the original — demanding that the infringing name be changed and seeking 1.5 million Danish kroner (~$220,000) in damages. (In case you were wondering, in 2013 Graceland Randers was the 48th most visited tourist attraction in Denmark.)
Verdict: Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. should heed some its namesake’s words — don’t be cruel.
Homophobes Attack Anti-Homophobia Photo Show
An outdoor installation in Toulouse of photographs of same-sex couples by Olivier Ciappa was vandalized, tagged with homophobic messages, reprinted, and then stolen. The images have since been reprinted again and reinstalled, and the regional police is now looking for information from witnesses that could help them track down the vandals and thieves.
Verdict: Sadly, this turn of events doesn’t seem all that surprising.
Panda-Man Steals King Kong’s Art
A man wearing a panda mask stole framed artworks off the walls of a King Kong fast food restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska. Security footage shows the panda-hatted thief loading the purloined art into his van.
Verdict: As with most things involving pandas, the facts of this case look pretty black-and-white.
Bieber’s Graffiti Campaign Leaves SF in Disbeliebe
Canadian crooner Justin Bieber and the team promoting his new album are in trouble over a street advertising campaign that left the sidewalks of San Francisco covered with the title of his new album and its release date. The city is demanding that the companies responsible for the campaign (referred to as snipping) clean up the sullied sidewalks.
Verdict: It’s about time cities started cracking down on the commercialization of their sidewalks.
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.