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A Sao Paulo Museum Without Insurance…and Now Without a Picasso


To be filed in the “so sad it’s almost funny” folder here at UnBeige HQ comes this story from the AP: “Brazil Museum: Stolen Picasso Uninsured.” You may have heard the some cunning thieves, “armed with nothing more than a crow bar and a car jack” broke into the Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art and stole both a Picasso and a Portinari. After that news broke, it was later discovered that not only were those two pieces not insured, neither is anything else in the museum, whose collection is “worth more than $1 billion.”

“None of the museum’s 8,000 works of art are insured,” [museum spokesman] Eduardo Cosomano said by telephone. “Insuring all them would be financially unviable.” Cosomano said that to protect its collection the museum has always relied on “unarmed guards patrolling the interior of the museum 24 hours a day,” and security cameras which on Thursday produced only blurred images of the heist.

“Alarms and movement sensors have never been part of our security system,” Cosomano said, contradicting earlier police reports that said the alarms failed to go off. “Obviously we will now have to rethink our entire security system.”

We understand the expense of insuring a billion dollars worth of artwork, but don’t you think maybe you’d have had that conversation at some point, that “Hey, we should NOW rethink our entire security system” not after the fact. Because, really, a crow bar and a car jack? We’d understand if it were some invisible villain of Batman’s, but, heck, who couldn’t get easy access to a crow bar and a car jack?! That’s all it takes to steal Picassos these days?!

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