8 Art Thefts That Went Wrong

ARTSY | Abigail Cain & Isaac Kaplan:

Pablo Picasso, who would go on to become the world’s most frequently pilfered artist, once said, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” Bad ones? They get caught. Here are the stories of eight attempted art heists that were something less than masterpieces. 01. For decades, a sketch by Salvador Dalí was displayed at Rikers Island—an apology from the Surrealist painter for cancelling a prison art class he was scheduled to teach in 1965. The work originally hung in the cafeteria near the trash cans, where it collected a handful of ketchup stains. Officials later transferred it to the lobby, thinking that Dalí’s depiction of the crucifixion would be safer there. Little did they know that in 2003, four prison guards would band together and snatch the sketch, orchestrating a fake fire alarm to distract the 24-hour guard. Impressive planning, perhaps; however, the replica they hung in its place was anything but… Read more

Image: Weegee. In the Paddy Wagon, 1944/1993. BAM