I spent some of the weekend reflecting on the tragedy that took place in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, but I spent most of the weekend trying to avoid thinking about it. I read a list of the names of the dead, and cried when I read their ages, most just six and seven years old.
Those of us in the arts community understand, perhaps more than most, that music is a tool for grief. So this morning, I turned to Gustav Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder. Mahler set poems written by Friedrich Rückert upon the death of his children by scarlet fever.
The text of the poems in German and in English can be found here.
I am totally jealous of the guys that ganked seven paitings from a museum in the Netherlands.
I love a good art heist, don’t you? On my list of fantasy careers, sexy art thief falls somewhere between adventuring archaeologist (a la Indiana Jones) and professional laugher.
There’s just something about the combination of intellect, stealth, agility, and trickery that it takes to sneak seven(!) priceless works of art out of a facility that is doubtless furnished with state-of-the-art security that just makes me giddy. No word yet on just how the ninjas pulled off their stunt, so I’m free to speculate about moles working as security guards, and replacing the originals with fakes, and an athletic woman, dressed in all black, kung fu-ing her way past the guards, perhaps to the tune of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena overture (all the best heists are underscored by Bel Canto orchestral music).
Of course, everyone knows that it’s basically impossible to sell high-profile stolen works of art, and that’s my favorite part. I imagine that the badasses who orchestrate these stunts are really just rogue art lovers. Some criminal mastermind was stroking his pomeranian while gazing at an empty space on his wall one afternoon and sighed, thinking, “the only thing that can complete this room is that stunning Picasso from the Kunsthal museum.”
Yes, it’s horribly selfish for someone to rob the public of the chance to enjoy these works, but it’s also just a tiny bit awesome.*
*But seriously, it’s horrible.