Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Strange Fascination

I don't know why I'm so obsessed by this Goya story, considering that art is one of those things that I just don't get.  In terms of painting and drawing, my skill is limited and so is my knowledge of the skills that go into making valuable art such as Goya's "Children with a Cart."  Why is it worth $1 million?  Other than the fact that it's 230 years old or so, I don't know.  But, apparently it is a valuable painting, and it was stolen, so I have questions. 

I was going to post this as a response to Harold's response to my previous post, but, I have too many questions for that.  So ....

1.  Exactly how was the Goya being transported?  I have no idea how big this painting is.  I'm thinking it's of some decent size, as opposed to being very tiny.  So, was the painting being transported in its frame?  Was it also perhaps placed inside some sort of crate?  Or, was it taken out of its frame, rolled up, and put into one of those cardboard cylinders.  Maybe that's just not done with million-dollar paintings.   Whatever happened, the transport vehicle (a van, according to the original article) was big enough to hold it.

2.  Why were the professional art transporters taking a "circuitous route through the backwater of Scranton" to get from Toledo to New York City?  For security reasons?  Wouldn't the most secure option be to get to NYC as quickly as possible by taking the most direct route - Interstate 80 - and driving straight through?  If you, as a professional art transporter, don't feel safe doing that, shouldn't you at least make sure that the painting is "attended" at all times, even when you stop for the night?

3.  The FBI seems to be of the opinion that the suspect in the theft, an independent trucker from New Jersey, allegedly stole the painting in what they believe was a crime of opportunity.  The FBI does not even seem convinced that the suspected thief knew what he was stealing.  My question is, if he didn't know he was stealing a valuable painting, just what exactly did he THINK he was stealing?

This goes back to my earlier point about the packaging.  Let's say the painting was rolled up in a cyclinder.  If the alleged thieving truck driver didn't know there was a painting in there, just what did he suppose it was?  Blueprints?

If the painting was in some sort of crate, maybe the guy thought it was a TV or a computer or something.  OK.  I'll buy that.  But, AFWK, the trucker acted alone, meaning that he broke into the van and removed the crate all by himself.  If one guy can do that, don't you think the two "professional art transporters" could have managed to carry their million-dollar cargo into the motel for the night - especially if they were worried about security and that's why they took the aforementioned "circuitous route through the backwater of Scranton."

The whole thing makes no sense.  Kind of like the art world.

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