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Why Stealing Masterpieces is a Terrible Way to Get Rich Quick

Stashed in: Wealth!, Art!, Business Advice, Art, Crime!

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You're a thief who's stolen a fabulously valuable masterpiece. How do you sell it?

I can't make a blanket statement. But what I can say is, after 20 years of doing these investigations for the FBI, there is a general pattern. And the general pattern is that the criminals who do these jobs, these heists, are good thieves, but they're terrible businessmen.

If you're going to buy art, buy the real deal. Otherwise it's worthless.

Even the smaller works of art have no value if they have no provenance, authenticity, or legal title. But when you talk about pieces that are under that amount, people don't do the due diligence. When people go in and pay $5 million for a C├ęzannes, they're going to do the due diligence to make sure everything is right. If a piece is $300 at a flea market, it's not done.

I wonder if the artists ever realized theirs artwork would be so highly sought after and prized.

That's the dream. Reality is so much less fun.

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