Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Art forger Wolfgang Beltracchi: the hagiography begins

"He didn't send anyone to a soup kitchen, he didn't foreclose anyone's mortgage..." —CBS broadcaster Bob Simon

Below is an extract from 'The Con Artist', an edition of the CBS programme '60 Minutes', which aired on February 23rd, in which host Bob Simon interviews German art criminal Wolfgang Beltracchi. Simon alights on a truism of high-ticket art forgery, namely that the victims are invariably very wealthy individuals rather than those at the lower end of the income scale.

There may be a delicious irony in that some of the rich individuals responsible for immiserating countless thousands of low-paid workers during the credit crunch are the main victims of egregious art forgers like Beltracchi.

True, he may not have sent anyone to a soup kitchen or foreclosed anyone's mortgage, but his is not a victimless crime.