Art and Crime – Smuggling

The sad fate of the “Venus of Morgantina” is one of the greatest art scandals of the 20th century. Art loss investigators and archaeological detectives are fighting with all available means against smuggling, the obviously most global form of art crime.

Robbed, hidden, blood stained – illegally sold and equally illegally acquired by a third party. It is commonly known that art and antique trafficking is ranked number three of organized crime. Currently the world looks to Syria and the Iraq where the IS terrorists’ cash flow derives from selling art treasures.

A Goddess Astray surveys the sad destiny of the famous smuggled object, the Venus of Morganina. The film discloses the deceptive business practice of auctioneers and museums and delves into the struggle of art investigators and archaeological detectives battling against art crime still generally trivialized and which is gradually beginning to invade Germany.

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: Sylvie Kürsten
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