The Art Thief

Originally posted on September 9, 2020

In a small but instructive incident, Trump again exposes how little regard he has for anyone or anything else. The diplomatic residence in Paris has quite the art collection. When Trump was there (the WWI cemetery no-show incident) he took a fancy to some of it. The result is sadly hardly surprising. Here’s the main paragraph from The Art Newspaper.

“Trump fancied for himself several of the pieces in the ambassador’s historic residence in Paris, where he was staying and which serves as the flagship for the State Department’s “Art in Embassies” cultural programme. Without notifying the ambassador, Jamie McCourt, the president and author of The Art of the Deal had a portrait and bust of Benjamin Franklin and a set of silver figurines depicting Greek mythological characters loaded onto Air Force One to bring them back to the White House. A bureaucratic nightmare ensued for the State Department and White House staffers, who worried that the $750,000 cache of art might not be legally transferable. Meanwhile, a flummoxed McCourt was told that she would receive the work back in six years—or 2024, when a second term of Trump’s presidency would theoretically end.”

He didn’t even bother telling the ambassador about it. What a creep! In a small irony the art objects he took were actually copies. Still, they were nice copies and worth quite a bit.

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