The Cry Baby is on sabbatical ....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

From the FBI files: The case of the master art forger

The FBI has recently revamped its website, allowing for easy access to its "vault",  a treasure trove of great case history. This one about an art scam in 2004 shows how a big time art dealer  pulled off a major series of art scams. It took money, skill, patience and of course a certain amount of chutzpah. The scammer wasn't quite that good – he was caught. Here's some of the case highlights:

1990: Buy the authentic Marc Chagall La Nappe Mauve for $312,000.1993: Have it copied by an expert forger and sell the forgery for $514,000.1998: Sell the authentic work of art for $340,000. GAIN OVER 8 YEARS: $854,000.
1996: Buy the authentic Gustave Moreau L'Enlevement de Ganymede for $285,000.1997: Have it copied by an expert forger and sell the forgery for a $55,000 loss—price tag $229,000.1999: Sell the authentic work of art for a bigger loss—$170,000.                   GAIN OVER 3 YEARS: $399,000

Other paintings involved in the scams include Chagall's Les Marie au Bouquet de Fleurs and Le Roi David Dans le Paysage Vert; Marie Laurencin's Jeune Fille a la Mandolin; Paul Gaugin's Vase de Fleurs (Lilas); and Paul Klee's Palaste, all pictured above. Read the complete FBI  file here.

Video: Watch the Earth age 750 million years in one minute

Hey buddy - have a minute to spare to watch the Earth's continents being formed? This very cool video is from the Visible Paleo-Earth project – an initiative by the Planetary Habitability Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico to visualize the Earth’s changing appearance over the past 750 million years. See the rest of their collection at Sit back an watch a bit of geological history unfold.

Twitter users hit back at the Donald

In one corner -  the ridiculous comb-over king Donald Trump.  In the other -  President Obama. It's not that I'm a huge Obama fan; I'm not and believe he's made his share of mis-steps running the country, but you have to take your hat off to him on offing Osama bin Laden in a most spectacular manner. Obama managed to swing back with humour at Trump in his speech at the Press Club dinner, but it looks like the Osama take-down in the knock out punch. Even the Donald has asked for a truce.  It's obviously getting a lot of twitter action, and here are a few of the most recent tweets: