Lost and Stolen Treasures
According to British journalist and art critic Jonathan Jones, "The most amazing thing is not how many masterpieces go missing or get destroyed but that something so fragile as art survives for any length of time at all."
Yet the lead character of The Bellini Madonna, Thomas Joseph Lynch, is counting on the fact that the mysterious work of art he so fanatically desires still exists several hundred years after it was painted. A rather high hope, especially when the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation says art theft constitutes as much as an $8 billion per annum industry and the Bureau has even assembled a thirteen-member crack team to staff their highly specialized Art Theft Program. What's more, there are reported to be over 160,000 art pieces listed on the international Art Loss Register.
Stolen items do not have to be small and easily portable like the tiny, postcard-sized portrait of Lucien Freud by Francis Bacon that went missing ...