A Town Rich in Stolen Art, but Not Nosy Questions
May 22, 2002 7:51 AM   Subscribe

A Town Rich in Stolen Art, but Not Nosy Questions Gerstheim, population 3,000, was the dump site for part of one of the biggest series of art heists in history when a mother, furious at her son's stealing, threw 100 of 172 pieces of art into the Rhone-Reine Canal. The hilarious part is the locals seem to not care one whit... how very French of them...
posted by gloege (7 comments total)
[the mother] ...chopped up and burned or threw out the paintings, which investigators said might be worth $1.4 billion.


I can't seem to find anything hilarious about the destruction of centuries-old, irreplacable art. Mostly just depressing.

posted by jburka at 8:33 AM on May 22, 2002

I hardly think it's "very French" not to care about the preservation of art. They may be open to a lot of jabs, but that's not one of them.
posted by bingo at 8:41 AM on May 22, 2002

I heard the story on NPR's All things Considered last week. I was floored by the woman's actions. She apparently "chopped (the paintings) up and threw them out with her potato peelings."

Robert Seigel interviewed John Henly of Guardian Unlimited about the story as he reported it. In addition to the mother's incredible actions, the scope of the art theft is amazing.
posted by onhazier at 8:57 AM on May 22, 2002

It's a rotten story, not funny, hard to believe. Still, if it was between art and her kid, what might a frantic mother not do?
posted by pracowity at 9:09 AM on May 22, 2002

okay my hilarious comment was made tongue in cheek - forgive me.

being french, yes it is very french of them to treat this as a daily occurance. we pride ourselves on taking the horrible, the profound and treating it as simply mundane.

I posted this piece more as a commentary on what happened and not what actually happened. Yes we shall all mourn art work destroyed. Carry on about your day.
posted by gloege at 10:11 AM on May 22, 2002

Death penalty.
posted by rushmc at 11:44 AM on May 22, 2002

Calm down rushmc, this ain't Texas.
posted by ODiV at 4:57 AM on May 23, 2002

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