The Perfect Art Heist: Hack the Money, Leave the Painting

The Perfect Art Heist: Hack the Money, Leave the Painting

The Perfect Art Heist: Hack the Money, Leave the Painting- read the article

Thieves didn’t even bother with a London art gallery’s Constable landscape—and they still walked away with $3 million.

Every year hundreds of art dealers and thousands of very rich people travel to the town of Maastricht, in the Netherlands, for the European fine art fair.
Among the items for sale two years ago: A View of Hampstead Heath, an 1824 landscape by the English painter John Constable.
Several buyers expressed interest, but none so feverishly as Arnoud Odding, director of the Rijksmuseum Twenthe, a museum several hours north.
Odding’s museum didn’t own a work by Constable—there was just one problem. He didn't have any money.
Odding struck a deal to take the Constable to his museum and use it to raise funds for its purchase
The painting was inspected by museum staff and trotted out for dignitaries
Odding raised the money, about $3 million, from the Dutch government and a private arts organization
But just as he was planning to wire the funds, he got an email from the seller, the Simon C Dickinson LTD gallery in London, with new bank details
Could Odding send the money to an account in Hong Kong?
Odding wired the money
Hours passed but Dickinson didn't receive it
No one knows what happened, but investigators say whoever took the money landed something close to... the perfect art heist
Art is easy to take but very hard to sell without giving yourself away
The thief, or thieves, let the dealer do all the work, and then apparently hacked into the emails at the very last minute, providing fraudulent payment instructions
Now the question is, who gets to keep the painting?
Simon Dickinson has a strong claim
but odding hired security experts who say it was Dickinson's email that was hacked. He took the gallery to court
The case has yet to be decided. Odding's museum has the painting in storage and says it isn't giving it back
The thief or thieves are still at large. They never touched the artwork, but for the time being, its gone.

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