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Stonebridge City Farms volunteers with their Millennium Falcon-shaped shed (screenshot by the author via Facebook)

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.

Vandals Strike Back at Millennium Falcon Farm Shed

A shed in the shape of the iconic Star Wars vessel the Millennium Falcon that had become a popular attraction at Nottingham’s Stonebridge City Farm was damaged by vandals. Happily, the company that gifted the shed to the farm has offered to come make emergency repairs, offering the Falcon a new hope — the shed is currently competing in the countrywide Shed of the Year contest.

Verdict: These vandals have clearly gone over to the dark side.

Nude Self-Portrait Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

Artist Dennis McIntyre’s nude self-portrait painting, which features a strategically placed teapot — in keeping with the theme of the same gallery’s 2016 New England Teapot Show — spawned enough complaints that the local police visited the Australian art space and demanded that the work be relocated to a less prominent location. Despite the uproar, one gallery volunteer told the Glenn Innes Examiner that a group of elderly women who’d recently visited loved McIntyre’s piece. “Their only complaint was that they couldn’t lift the teapot to see what was behind  it,” the volunteer said.

Verdict: It seems excessive to involve the police in such a minor brew-haha.

Stolen Sculpture Saved in Ransom Sting

A sculpture of a female figure holding a globe by artist Ben Juniper — valued at AUD65,000 (~USD49,000) — was stolen from Caro Stewart’s front yard in the Peppermint Grove neighborhood of Perth, Western Australia. After the sculpture’s disappearance, Stewart found a note in her mailbox from the alleged thief offering to return the sculpture for a ransom, but when the 28-year-old suspect turned up at Stewart’s home to collect, he was arrested. He’s being charged with “taking reward for recovery of property obtained by means of indictable offenses.”

Verdict: Everybody knows the ransom exchange should happen on neutral territory — has this amateur criminal never seen The Big Lebowski?!

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Benjamin Sutton

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy Sherman, and other divisive issues have...