Art and Crime – Looted Art

Beloved, stolen, hidden. Over more than 70 years museums, collectors and private owners have been dragging at Egon Schiele’s “Wally”. At the core of it all is the question how justice can be reinstalled after all the criminal acts of the Nazi time.

Famous cases of stolen art have recently speeded up provenance research work and have greatly increased the number of research centers such as the “Art Loss Register” and the “Lost Art Database”, especially in Germany and Great Britain. It is all the more astonishing that between 1945 and 1990 so little attention was paid to research work on provenance and that a great amount of works of art could not be restituted due to the lack of appropriate studies on the case. Many works of art are still lost. The figures for not documented, possibly lost art remain in the dark.

All Because of Wally closely observes Willy Korte, a solicitor and art detective who since many years has been tracing Nazi stolen art. As example for many similar cases, the film focuses on the provenance thriller connected to the Schiele portrait. The Leopold Museum in Vienna was forced to newly acquire the painting with not exact provenance for a considerable sum.

The series „Art and Crime“:

No walk of life is as dazzling and so near to the beat of time as the art world. Nowhere else may a clash of cultures be so closely observed as when avant-garde and commerce meet, nowhere else are feuilleton and market so closely knit. But how is it possible that the art market is considered to be the filthiest market apart from dealing with drugs? Does there still exist something like a gentleman thief, some person like Thomas Crown, who passionately steals pictures for his own collection? What is so enigmatic about art? Why is art so sought-after, so precious and singular that an individual is prepared to commit a crime for the sake of art? Where and why does crime hit upon art?

In four diverse series with a large range of main cases, a staff of renowned experts and material witnesses for exemplary cases we celebrate the high quality of art as our corpus delicti and offer a survey of the international art market and its shady sides.

Alle Sendetermine:

All the broadcasting dates
13th June 2015, 9.40 p.m: All Because of Wally
14th June 2015, 11.05 p.m: Knoedler and the Chinese
15th June 2015, 11.10 p.m.: A Goddess Astray
16th June 2015, 11.10 p.m.: Bang Went the Art!

Documentary D, 2015, 45 min.
Television Premiere: June 13, 2015 / 9.40 p.m.

Director & Script: Ilka Franzmann
Off-Camera Speaker: Sophie Rois
Idea: Bernhard von Hülsen, Carl von Karstedt, Torsten Berg
DOP: Chris Valentien
Sound: Robert Sandow, Lucie Westbrock
Art-Direction: Philipp Baben der Erde
Graphics & Animation: Andreea Varga, Michael Wende
Editing: Nina Mühlenkamp
Archive: Sophie Jennert, Hanna Belz
Production Assistant: Pit Pallesche
Production Manager: Johanna Bergel
Line Producer: Linn Sackarnd
Producers: Bernhard von Hülsen, Maria Willer
Commissioning Editor: Thomas Janssen (3sat)

A production on behalf of ZDF/3sat