Sunday, 14 October 2012

Michel van Rijn in the News

There are two recent stories about Michel van Rijn worth (a little) attention. The first is an interview (Jake Hanrahan, 'How I Became One of the Most Successful Art Smugglers in the World', October 10, 2012):
Having turned the craft of international art smuggling into an art in its own right, Michel Van Rijn was once wanted by authorities all over the world for sneaking valuable pieces of art across sea and land. With millions in the bank, Michel lived the life of a playboy. He owned private planes, enjoyed a harem of beautiful women, and did business with some of the world’s most dangerous criminals—many of whom were members of various governments (and probably still are). Art smuggling has been his racket since he was 20 years old. Dealing with upper class gangsters and supposedly legitimate art dealers, he’s been shot, extradited, jailed, hunted by MI6 and Interpol, and received photos of his children in the mail by way of a very unsettling threat from his enemies. He hasn’t given many interviews over the past six years, but I managed to track him down for a chat. After learning I did a bit of unlicensed boxing before becoming a journalist, Michel took a liking to me, as he is a fighter himself. He once had so many contracts on his head that Scotland Yard detectives allegedly placed bets on how long he had left to live before he was murdered by a hitman. Well built, bearded and rugged, Michel greeted me, took a drag of his cigarette, and agreed to speak about the lucrative world of art smuggling and how he became the kingpin of it [...].
The article ends with the information (if that is what it is) that "a movie of Michel’s life, written and directed by sub-culture specialist King Adz and co-produced by ex-CIA agent Bob Baer is now in the works. Called The Iconoclast, it will be like Gomorra set in the Louvre, with a bearded Tom Hardy playing Michel Van Rijn (or so rumor has it)". This may therefore put a text on a related subject published earlier in context:
King Adz, 'Art Adventurer: The Incredible Story of Michel van Rijn, Sabotage Times 10 May 2012.

Vignette: Van Rijn

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