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Crimes of the Art

Andy Warhol's "Campbell's Soup Cans" prints, pictured before seven of them were stolen, at the Springfield Museum of Art (photo by @cinderele/Instagram)
Andy Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’ prints, pictured before seven of them were stolen from the Springfield Museum of Art (photo by @cinderele/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.

Warhol Soup Cans Disappear

crimes-of-the-art-scream-3Seven of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans (1968) prints were stolen off the walls of the Springfield Art Museum in Springfield, Missouri. The FBI is offering a $25,000 award for information that leads to their recovery; the complete set of 10 prints to which the seven stolen artworks belong is estimated to be worth $500,000. An FBI release indicates that the thieves left behind the prints of soup cans marked “Cream of Mushroom,” “Consommé (Beef),” and “Pepper Pot.”

Verdict: The thieves have very picky taste in food art.

Two Arrested as Stolen Munch Lithograph Is Recovered

crimes-of-the-art-scream-3Two men were arrested in Oslo in connection with the 2009 theft of the hand-colored Edvard Munch lithograph “Historien” (History, 1914), which was recovered by Norwegian police. The men are suspected of handling stolen goods, though they are not accused of carrying out the theft of the 2 million kroner (~$306,000) artwork.

Verdict: What a relief for those who feared “History” was history!

Russian Culture Critic Killed

crimes-of-the-art-scream-4Dmitry Tsilikin, a 54-year-old Russian art and culture critic who had written for Vogue, Elle, and Kommersant, among other publications, was found stabbed to death in his St. Petersburg apartment. Per the codes of Russian obituary writing, an act of extreme state repression seems unlikely.

Verdict: This is another tragic reminder, as if one were needed, of how vulnerable Russian journalists are.

Hate Trumps Dialogue in Campus Immigration Demonstration

crimes-of-the-art-scream-3A wall that was erected on the Loyola Marymount University campus as part of a “No Human Being Is Illegal” demonstration, and covered with messages like “stop deportations” and “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner,” was defaced. One section was spray-painted over to read “Deport all illegals,” while another was simply scrawled with the word “Trump.”

Verdict: A glimpse of what the US will look like under President Donald Trump.

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