Written by Frank Cotolo
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Topics: Britain, Theft

Friday, 28 May 2004

NORTHMUFFIN, Great Britain -- A recent report claims "three stolen paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Paul Gauguin may have been recovered near the British art gallery where the theft occurred."

A well known art critic said, "We had known all along that these three immortal artists had been responsible for creating beautiful paintings, but it wasn't until we read this report that we became aware that the three were also stealing paintings."

The stolen the artworks, the article reported, are worth more than $1.6 million. "It was a well-organized heist," said Peter Petronomo, an art critic who also read the piece. "And it reveals that these three men who are so cherished as great artists had a dark side to them."

Acting on an anonymous tip, which was not disclosed, the police, all British because no other country has police in Great Britain, discovered the paintings "rolled in a tube near a public toilet close to Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, northern England."

Petronomo said, "We have no evidence in the biography of any of these men that leads us to know when the three of them met at all, no less in England. So, we are shocked to find this out. Also, we are befuddled at why they would have stolen these particular three paintings."

The paintings, according to the report, were the artists' own works, making the mystery deeper and more nauseating. Found in the haul were Van Gogh's The Fortification of Paris with Houses (1878), Picasso's Poverty (1903) and Gauguin's Tahitian Landscape (1893).

"Look at the dates of these paintings," said Petronomo. "The robbery must have taken place after 1903, which makes it more dumbfounding, since I think Gauguin and van Gogh were dead by then. Or were they?"

New and more interesting mysteries about the three artists arise from all this. Perhaps two of the three faked their deaths in order to have a good alibi for the heist?

"This was a well-planned theft," a police spokesman said to the reporter in the article. "We are now trying to piece together what happened."

Whatever happened, if discovered, this could change the whole face of art history, if not degrade all the historians who thought they knew it all about these three artists. For fans and admirers, many of them one and the same, proof of the robbery will come as a terrible blow. Some people are already preparing for suicide.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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