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April 14, 2009



Fascinating. This is the first time I heard about this. It did remind me of F for Fake, but that's a different type of "art crime."

Richard Prouty

I'd read once or twice that the statues in Les Demoiselles had been stolen, but I didn't realize their theft was connected to the Mona Lisa theft.

W. Buck

R. A. Scotti's wonderful book's published title is "Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft fo Mona Lisa." It makes a delicious read.

Richard Prouty

Thanks for the update, W. Buck. I've changed the title of the Scotti book.

Pat Harris

The belgian thief was a friend of Picasso's. Just WHO gave this thief the idea to steal those particular sculptures? Hmmmmm. And the statues (with 'property of the Louvre') painted on their base end up in Picasso's apartment for a couple of years. How stupid is everyone? It is obvious that Picasso commissioned this theft.

Richard Prouty

The theft of the Iberian statues was pretty suspicious. As I recall the particulars of the case, there's no proof Picasso commissioned the theft, but it's hard to imagine that the theft wasn't committed with him in mind--if he didn't commission it outright.

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What Is One-Way Street?

One-Way Street [Einbahnstrasse, 1928] was Walter Benjamin's first effort to break out of the narrow confines of the academy and apply the techniques of literary studies to life as it is currently lived. For Benjamin criticism encompasses the ordinary objects of life, the literary texts of the time, films in current release, and the fleeting concerns of the public sphere. Following Benjamin's lead, this blog is concerned with the political content of the aesthetic and representations of the political in the media. As Benjamin writes in One-Way Street, "He who cannot take sides should keep silent."