Edward Dolnick

Suspects in the Frame

Art Theft and the Case of the Stolen Turners

By

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The quickest way to make an art detective stalk off in disgust is to mention The Thomas Crown Affair. Everything about the film infuriates the pros. Thieves aren’t slim figures in tuxedos; they’re brutes. They’re not connoisseurs who moon over stolen masterpieces behind locked doors but thugs who probably have never ventured into a museum except to rob it. But, inevitably, when great paintings disappear, some of the lustre of the artwork spills onto the thieves themselves. This gilt by association is almost entirely undeserved.

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