You've obviously read the story on Bloomberg about the big art robbery in Zurich; paintings by Cezanne, Degas, Monet and Van Gogh worth more than $163 million were stolen. It's a big deal if you give a shit about obscure art museums in third-rate European cities. Reporters Marc Wolfensberger and Linda Sandler note that three burglars--packing heat and wearing ski masks--lifted Monet's ``Poppies Near Vetheuil,'' Degas' ``Count Lepic and his Daughters,'' Van Gogh's ``Blossoming Chestnut Branches'' and Cezanne's ``Boy in the Red Vest'' from the Buehrle Foundation half an hour before closing yesterday afternoon. Scandalous, we thought, and yet, not really enough information to solve the case.
Then, a lightbulb—we'd made friends with a well-placed guard at that very museum during our semester abroad junior year. We made a call, and after about ten minutes of bullshitting and acting like we were just calling to see how he was doing and not for a favor, we casually mentioned the incident. He was reluctant at first to give up any details—he said the burglar later called from a secure line (203-890-2000) and through heavy breathing that would seem to imply the person on the other end wasn't in the best of shape, told him, "If you tell anyone about this I’ll fucking kill you," but I assured him nothing he told me would end up in the public record. Here’s what he said:
"All points bulletin described the third suspect as a portly gentleman, late 40s or early 50s, dressed in black, coke-bottle glasses visible beneath ski mask. Distinguishing features: cookie crumbs cascading down the front of his zip-up sweater, haunting blue eyes. When confronted by gawking, photo-taking tourists at the gallery, the fleeing suspect promised to 'pay good money for the rights to those snapshots.' A small shark figurine was found at the scene."
Draw your own conclusions. We'vedrawnours.
Zurich Gang Grabs $163 Million Art Haul From Museum [Bloomberg]