Why would you steal a Picasso painting?

United States
February 28, 2007 11:46pm CST
News is that someone stole 2 paintings out of a family member of Picasso's home. The 2 paintings were valued around $66 million but the question is, why would you even bother to steal something so obviously noticable? Not like you can drop it off for a high priced auction and unless the only people you ever deal with are complete derelicts or total underground types if you hang it in your house someone is going to notice! DUH! So can you seriously think of any reason to steal these paintings and what you would do with them?
4 people like this
18 responses
@Ciniful (1589)
• Canada
1 Mar 07
Throughout history, works of art have been stolen and sold underground ... through black market dealers. You're right, taking it to the local pawn shop is out of the question, but why would they need to, when they can sell it underground for half the value? It might be a huge decrease to the value of the painting, but what WOULDN'T the average person do for 33 million dollars?
3 people like this
• United States
1 Mar 07
I understand that but I still am clueless as to HOW or WHY anyone else would buy it. Okay, you get it on the black market for half the value. So what? What are you going to do with it? If you're that rich, unless you put it in a locked room to adore by yourself, it's probably going to be seen by other rich people who will KNOW it's a Picasso. I guess you could say it's a "fake" but if you're rich enough to buy it on the black market people are going to know it's probably not a fake and figure that one out since they know what was stolen. I honestly have always wondered why you would EVER steal things that are sooooo obvious as to be stolen. If you steal a car, you can cut it up and reuse or whatever. But a Picasso that the world knows.... so what can u even do with it?
1 person likes this
@Ciniful (1589)
• Canada
1 Mar 07
It's the status in owning it, for those who can afford it. It's bought underground for the same reasons that people buy ferrari's when a honda will get them where they need to go. Status symbols and the self enjoyment of owning something that rare or expensive. And of course they'd show it, it would be on display as the rich keep their works on display now. How many are going to walk into their living rooms and demand certification to prove authenticity?
3 people like this
• United States
2 Mar 07
LOL.. you haven't met some of the rich folk I've dealt with! I'm telling you... the first thing they'd do is get out their magnifying glass and start investigating for the authenticity!!!!! I guess if you're low enough to buy on the black market and egotistical enough to want a painting because it's so valuable and not really because of the truth of the matter of art, then you probably don't really have friends that are real "church goers" and "saints" eh? Guess you do have a point there!
1 person likes this
@urbangirl (1461)
• Australia
1 Mar 07
Well, if it were me I would hide them away for years and then maybe hang one of them up in my lounge room casually. I would only make sure to invite my non art-literate friends around. If I got caught I would say I had bought it from a market and (naturally) assumed it was a fake?! As long as the other painting couldn't be traced back to me, I guess I would get away with it (yeah right). Anyway, the thought of having a REAL Picasso hanging up on my wall while others assumed it was a fake would be enough for me.
• United States
1 Mar 07
LOL... I'd get excited to be able to afford the fake version!
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Mar 07
Some people will do just about anything for attention. I wondered about this myself, when I heard the story on the news. You make a good point about it being noticed. I guess some people are stupid, and just want to say they've done it, not giving a darn about the consequences.
2 people like this
• United States
1 Mar 07
Yeah.. I mean even if they can sell it underground.. the chances of being caught have to be HUGE and then, if they can't sell it right away... how long before they could sell it ... hundreds of years! LOL Talk about leaving a windfall for your next generations?
1 person likes this
@emeraldisle (13145)
• United States
1 Mar 07
They were probably stolen by professionals who have a buyer already for them. Someone who will put them in a private vault so they can know they have them but not share with anyone else. Personally I can't see the reason for it but for some I guess it is a thrill. If it wasn't by professionals then they probably didn't realize what they were taking, which I seriously doubt.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Mar 07
I'm pretty sure they knew because it's known to be Picasso's grand daughter's house I guess. I think that's what they said. But the weird part is.. why would you spend that kind of money on something to not even be able to enjoy? If you are a huge art fan... you'd want to see it and admire it and share it with your friends. LOL Seems silly to me. Then again I don't have millions to toss away either... so perhaps I just don't understand because of that?
@Idlewild (6094)
• United States
2 Mar 07
Maybe they do already have a buyer for the paintings, or know of people who would buy it an keep in their own private vault and admire it all to themselves. There are collectors of all kinds of things who buy rare items but never take them out of the wrapper or container, because it would decrease their value. I don't understand how you can 'enjoy' something if it's covered in its container the whole time, but I guess that's why I'm not a die hard collector of anything.
1 person likes this
@keon89 (19)
• Philippines
2 Mar 07
yes..stealing a picasso painting is cool..then sell it..wow! u can have a huge money...lol
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 07
LOL.. you better spend it really fast cuz I have a feeling you won't have it long!
28 Mar 07
it may be cool until you get lifted but don't get to sure of urserlf how would the thieves feel if they got the most valuable thing in their life stolen from them. i bet they wouldn't like it
@clownfish (3276)
• United States
2 Mar 07
Hi! Personally, I wouldn't want a Picasso - I just don't connect with his art style. I'm sure there are plenty of underground ways to buy and sell stolen art, though. The theives probably had it all planned out before they even stole the paintings. I feel terrible for the family, though.
• United States
2 Mar 07
I was saddened for the family too because these particular pieces had family value too. I'm just amiff at how it all works I guess because I can't fathom how you'd pull off buying it without getting caught eventually.
@clownfish (3276)
• United States
2 Mar 07
Oh, I'm sure there are people in European and other foreign countries who can get away with it. There's been an underground or black market for stolen artwork for years. I'm sure there are people who can still access it. It's sad to think that you can't even have your own grandfather's paintings because he was famous.
1 person likes this
• Canada
3 Mar 07
I can think of several reason 1 for the insurance money and get to keep painting 2 theif wanted them but owner woudl not sell em 3 To sercertly have them and not share 4 to sell on black market 5 they were damaged or fake this way they can collect insurance money 6 who the helll decides a painting is worth that much
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 07
Interesting reasons and quite realistic too! Good insight! Um...so do YOU have the painting? LOL
@kgwat70 (13395)
• United States
2 Mar 07
Obviously people steal paintings like those because they intend on trying to sell them for a large amount to make a profit off the paintings. A thief knows that these paintings have a large value and they want to make money off of them. Of course, anyone thinking about buying something like this off the street would have to be crazy too as they should know it is stolen. These are rare paintings so hanging them on the walls would be a bad idea as people would be questioning the person, especially since it would be all over the news. LOL
• United States
2 Mar 07
Think maybe if I hang it with one of those cheap "poster art" style frames they'd figure it out? I just know I'm gonna get caught with this expensive painting! LOL
@tarsadawn (350)
• United States
2 Mar 07
I thought the same thing. No respectable buyer is going to want to even touch them because they're STOLEN. And, even if they could find someone to take them, they're definitely not getting $66 million for them. They'll be caught soon enough. Not too long ago, Munch's the Scream was stolen from Norway, it was found...Picasso's will be found too.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 07
I'm anxious myself to see if they get caught quickly. If you're ballsy enough to do it, how tight are you gonna sit with this thing? It's obviously calling out to you for the money!
• Canada
2 Mar 07
I think the underground market for these kind of paintings is HUGE because they're so rare and vaulable. I know it sounds cliche, but a lot of times, these paintings go to people like the Mafia, and they're always in demand. I was told this once by a friend who has Mafia connections, although I haven't spoken to her in months.
1 person likes this
@kbkbooks (7028)
• Canada
2 Mar 07
Well, gee, maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time?? DUH.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Mar 07
LOL... exactly. I'm not quite getting it either. Guess that's why I didn't steal it and you weren't my assistant?
@kiiizu (1901)
• Estonia
3 Mar 07
The world is full of freaks. Perhaps a multi-millionaire collector wanted them just for himself, for his very private deep cellar gallery? Perhaps he's visiting it every midnight, to talk to them and to enjoy their company? I can't see other reasons, my imagination lets me down. Wasn't a painting of Edvard Munch, his 'Scream' also stolen some years ago? Munch's 'handwriting' is absolutely unique. As much I know, they got it back, the thieves couldn't find a buyer. Hopefully the same will happen Picasso's paintings, because if not the multi-millionaire cellar-gallery owner I mentioned above, I can't see who could buy them!
@Denmarkguy (1845)
• United States
3 Mar 07
Personally, I don't "get" it. However, I have spent enough years in the art world (15 years with art galleries) to understand that there ARE collectors out there who have a MUST HAVE IT motivation that goes beyond all logic and reasoning. It has nothing to do with wanting attention, or wanting the "worth" of the art... and everything to do with some inner feeling they get from seeing that Picasso on their own personal wall and being able to say "MINE!" It's like the pursuit of the Holy Grail... only on a slightly smaller scale. Sickness? Obsession? Collecting passion? Your guess is as good as mine.
@suscan (1955)
• United States
3 Mar 07
It is sad for people to steal a painting like this. Probably some private collector who will keep them to himself.
1 person likes this
@Gmens91 (389)
• Philippines
2 Mar 07
I believe they sell it in the black market. Believe it or not, there are some collectors of fine art that do this. And besides, if you're not familiar with art you would not recognize that the paintings are stolen, unless they were really famous like the mona lisa.
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
2 Mar 07
The very wealthy will spend bucooo bucks on stolen art and artifacts, just to have them in their collection. So that they can show them off at dinner parties. As far as I know, none has ever been caught.
1 person likes this
@gbspew (455)
• Bulgaria
2 Mar 07
There's a black market. It can be trade for much more than 66 milion dollars because there are so many collectors who don't know what to do with their money.
1 person likes this
28 Mar 07
some people could probably try to steal the paintings so they could sell it to others criminals but no doubt they would probably get cauyght.it's quite stupid but you neer no maybe they are crazy and think they will get money from it.