Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Ukraine "Stolen Dutch Paintings" Story Changed Again

Arthur Brand has blocked me from seeing his tweets keeping other folk up to date on developments in the "Stolen Dutch paintings in Ukraine" story (or rather how many newspapers mention his name). He has however published a blog post on the topic, and shows how unstable the story (and basis for his allegations) is.

The text is called "Security service and politicians of Ukraine are in possession of stolen paintings" and was published on 8th Dec 2015

There are several telling differences in emphasis between this text and what Brand and others have said elsewhere, such as here:
"Early 2014 a colour photograph of Rebecca and Eliezer by Jan Linsen, suddenly appeared on a Russian website".
[compare the victim museum's "last year, one of the stolen paintings first appeared on a Ukrainian website"]. This is yet another example of the Dutch trying to confuse Russian and Ukrainian. The version of Humaniuk's "my men" has now been changed completely:
It then turned out that Humeniuk had been sent by his superiors with the task of getting a 10% reward of 5 million Euros. [...] Humeniuk wanted to consult his superiors and although he had been friendly, Brand and the Westfries Museum did not trust him nor the people he worked for, whoever they might be.

So, "my superiors" or "my men"? Where is this "film" you claim to have made Mr Brand? Let's hear it. Having now invented a new thread in the story, these "superiors" (and not "my men") there comes the issue of identifying them:
Meanwhile an extensive network was consulted about who the superiors of Humeniuk could possibly be. Soon, a right wing politician whose party maintains close ties to the OUN battalion, came up with some interesting information. [...] “Humeniuk is only a middleman. This goes up to the highest echelons; one of the two men who sent him is Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the far-right nationalist party Svoboda…” [...]  Soon the information provided by the contact proved to be true. [....] According to the [same] politician [...] the group that was in possession of the paintings, was not only managed by Tyahnybok but also by Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, who had also sent Humeniuk to meet with Brand.
Well, I can think of no end of "right wing politicians' that would say anything they can to discredit those who they see as their opponents. There is nothing offered to give this story credibility except this unnamed informant is in a party which "maintains close ties to the OUN battalion", so one of Tyahnybok's rivals - not exactly, one would have thought (unless you are a Dutch "investigator" trying to prove a point), the most reliable source of objective facts.

For the Dutch of course, Nalyvaichenko (for example here and here ) with the events surrounding the aftermath of the shooting down of MH17 (many of the passengers of which were Dutch), which may explain why the mud-slingers want to give him bad press.

 Then there is the bit about the (in)famous photo with the newspaper:
To make sure that the paintings actually existed and that they were in possession of the OUN battalion, the two negotiators asked for a photograph. A photograph of the painting A Peasant Wedding by Hendrick Bogaert together with a recent newspaper, was made available.
The words "was made available" hide the fact that the post to which the photo was appended clearly originated in a Russian, not Ukrainian, email account. Does the Museum's "investigator" consider it likely that the OUP unit (fighting the Russian-speaking rebels) send each other emails in Russian? Why? Why is this discrepancy not explained by Brand? Does it not rather conflict with the story the "investigator" is trying to promote?

Why is Brand, "the man who" (allegedly) "found Hitler's horses" so anxious to pin this on Ukrainian "fascists" when several pieces of evidence point to a different group entirely? Does it provide better publicity to be able to illustrate the article with a seated man giving the Roman salute (Hitlergruß)? Does he imagine he can force the Ukrainians to react by making such accusations on such flimsy hearsay evidence (when he does not even speak the language)?

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