JUST ASK OUR FUNNIEST COMEDIANS….. Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Jack Benny, George Burns, Katherine Sebelius. Timing is also important to those of us who write. For instance, book number four in the “Adam Gold Mystery Series” is titled, RANSOM ON THE RHONE. The story centers around an insurance claim involving priceless artwork stolen by the Nazis and others during and after World War II. (Mostly from France.)
Well, lo and behold, the New York Times featured a story this week about….. priceless artwork stolen by the Nazis and others during and after World War II. (Mostly from France.) OMG, what a coincidence! (Unless they have a reporter spying on me.) I could scarcely believe my eyes, and of course, I was delighted to get some free publicity. What a truly incredible piece of luck!
As you might know, the German authorities stumbled upon a well hidden treasure trove of priceless artworks. (In Munich) 1,400 works of art were found in the home of an elderly art dealer. (Whose father worked for the Nazis.) Herr Cornelius Gurlitt was quite the collector. Included in his collection were works by Picasso, Chagall, Renoir, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Norman Rockwell. (Just kidding about Rockwell!)
Estimated value of the stolen collection? Try… $1,300,000,000! (Yep, over a billion dollars!) Most of the pieces were stolen from Jews living in France, and to be quite honest, the Germans broke the case two years ago, but they decided to wait until the time was right before announcing their discovery. (The owners of 800 pieces have been tentatively identified, so now comes the tricky part of returning the artwork.) Congratulations to my friends at the O.C.D.C. and Interpol. (The fine folks who have provided much information for RANSOM ON THE RHONE.) A job well done, ladies and gentlemen!
Some of my blog followers have inquired about the types of artwork that were recovered. Well, since you asked, the collection included oil paintings, drawings, watercolors, and lithographs. The Nazis viewed the above (by the artists I mentioned) as “degenerate art,” and most of the pieces were stolen between 1937 and 1941.
Before I leave you today, I would like to send my thoughts and prayers to my dear friends, Mel and Paula, who live in the Philippines. Sadly, their lovely homes were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, Thankfully, neither they or their families were injured. Hang in there, guys. This too shall pass.
Also, my love and best wishes for a speedy recovery for my sweet friend, Helena, who just underwent foot surgery. Helena has a lot of “sole” and is no “heel,” but she did walk funny. (She was doing commercials for Aflac Insurance!) Feel better, darling!
Well, I’m off to the world famous Flakowitz Deli (in Boca Raton), and a pre-arranged meeting with a pastrami sandwich on rye. (With a half-sour pickle, a potato knish, and a can of Dr. Brown Black Cherry Soda!) Oy vey is mir, I hope my poor stomach survives the onslaught! If not, so be it. What a way to go!
Have a wonderful and safe week….. and look for my next exciting blog post, which will be coming to you from a remote Caribbean island! (Can you say Pirate of the Caribbean?) Love to all…..
Captain Black Jack Yanoff, semi-fearsome pirate!