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Crimes of the Art

Natali Cohen Vaxberg (screenshot via YouTube)
Natali Cohen Vaxberg (screenshot via YouTube)

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.

Authorities Wipe Out Poop-Slinging Artist

crimes-of-the-art-scream-2Performance artist Natali Cohen Vaxberg is expected to be charged with five counts of desecrating the Israeli flag over a video she uploaded to the internet in 2014 in which she defecated on the country’s flag. The video, titled “Shit Instead of Blood,” shows Vaxberg in her bathroom defecating on the flags of various countries.

Verdict: Even within the subgenre of scatalogical art, this video is really crappy.

Stolen Corb Seats Could Spell Diplomatic Disaster

crimes-of-the-art-scream-2Thieves stole 15 chairs and one table designed by Le Corbusier from a storeroom at the Chandigarh College of Arts just days before the visit of French President François Hollande. While in the Indian city of Chandigarh, whose master plan Le Corbusier designed, Hollande will visit several sites associated with the legendary Swiss-French architect.

Verdict: Franco-Indian relations may never recover.

Unauthorized Graffiti Backdrop Not Cool, Kiesza

Jamie Hef's murals in the backdrop of Kiesza's "Hideaway" video (screenshot via YouTube)
Jamie Hef’s murals in the backdrop of Kiesza’s “Hideaway” video (screenshot via YouTube)

crimes-of-the-art-scream-3Graffiti artist Jamie Mitchel Kosse — better known as Jamie Hef — is suing singer Kiesza and the Universal Music Group for using several of his murals in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as backdrops for the pop star’s “Hideaway” video without licensing the work.

Verdict: Here’s hoping Universal does the right thing and pays Hef a hefty fee.

Thieving Arsonists Strike Historic Church

crimes-of-the-art-scream-3Twelve artifacts turned up missing after a fire at the Church of Saint-Louis in Fontainebleau, France, which was ruled to have been an act of arson. The lost objects, which were either destroyed in the fire or stolen, include a wooden sculpture of Mary and infant Jesus from the 14th century and the church’s main altar, from the 17th century.

Verdict: The thieves better put that altar to good use and start praying.

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