Friday, 5 February 2016

Dutch Art Theft Myth-making Still Hammering Away at Ukraine


Provincial museum and
its tinfoil helmet
Dutch art investigator Arthur Brand cites and triumphantly announces:
As our investigation already proved: secret service and politicians Ukrain involved in stolen paintings scandal 
It must be said that in the Dutch "art investigation world", the notion of "proof" apparently has a totally different dimension than the rest of the world. The investigations of Mr Brand ('Stolen Paintings and Ukrainian Paramilitaries' PACHI Monday, 7 December 2015) used unverified gossip and ignored facts (the Russian email account) to come up with some wild and damaging accusations, but no proof of any of them.  (See 'Stolen Paintings: Dutch Silent Embarrassed Foot Shuffling' for later developments and links to previous posts on the topic.) Not surprisingly, the Russian language press is having a field day with these accusations, but in this case I would not consider that anything Mr Brand or  Mr Geerdink should feel proud of.  

UPDATE 11th February 2016
Geerdink and Brand accused the Ukrainian government and Security services of being behind the fencing of the stolen paintings because gossip placed them in the hands of a bent anti-corruption officer who somehow got his hands on them in a raid. Meanwhile a sensation-laden story from a Ukrainian news station (ЛЕТЮЧІ «ГОЛЛАНДЦІ» hromadske.tv)  links their presence there instead with a bent Dutch police officer with a Polish-sounding name. If we take the Dutch argument to its logical conclusion, he too "must have been working with the full knowledge of his superiors" - so, using the Dutch argument, the Dutch authorities would be mixed up in the whole affair. That would explain why they can do no more than "supply a list of names" to the Ukrainian authorities - hardly the basis for any serious investigation. The recent news item gives short shrift to Geerdink and art investigator Brand's accusation that Svoboda's Oleh Tyahnybok and Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, are involved. The story is now shifting to moaning that although the Dutch gave the Ukrainians a "list of names" and some conspiracy theories, the latter are unable to do anything. Hardly surprising, is it? 

18 comments:

Arthur said...

You are just making yourself look ridiculous Paul :-) Even if the truth sits on your face, you will deny it. Now respected Ukranian journalists and members of the SBU speak out and you still are shouting. By the way, stay tuned: more to follow.

Paul Barford said...

I can show you half a dozen ex-UB (Polish version of SBU) who will tell you the most fantastic tales of what X-inski, Y-ov and Z-ovitch got up to under the former government (with no precise details such as dates offered either). You are apparently ignoring the political and social context of the 'reports'(sources) - looking at which should be the first step in any attempt to interpret them as any historiographer will tell you.

A story is nothing more than a story, an accusation no more than an accusation - it is not in itself "proof". What is so difficult to understand in that? Let us start with the names and dates so far so ostentatiously missing from the new version.

I do not consider it in any way "ridiculous"to expect to see actual, not imaginary, "proof" before believing that some politically-motivated cock-and-bull conspiracy theory story arrived at by point-scoring Dutch guys who apparently speak little or no Ukrainian try to present to his countrymen as "the Truth". They may believe you, but despite your ridicule, I remain of the opinion that you and Mr Geerdink are still far from proving whatever it is you are both out to prove.

Arthur said...

People have been named in the Dutch press. The Ukranian journalists were too afraid to name them, although they themselves had discovered them. More Ukranian journalists have found the same as we. They will publish this soon...

I really start to believe that you think that you are objective and that the whole world but you is full of idiots, spies, people with hidden agendas etc.

I first thought that you were a troll. But now I get the image.

Anyway, good luck Paul with fighting the world. And look under your bed tonight, may be Putin is hiding there. ;-)

Arthur said...

Btw, I see that hardly anyone ever comments on your posts. So you should cherish mine ;-)

Paul Barford said...

Meanwhile the onlooker sees you merely getting aggressive if somebody questions your generalisations. Like a metal detectorist.

I think it is pretty clear that there will be multiple agendas involved here. I am not the one accepting gossip taken out of context as "proof". You consider my questioning that kind of approach is reprehensible, I'd say it is a basic trait of research.

Arthur said...

Paul, I am not aggressive. I am just teasing you. You should relax sometimes.

Well, we will see how this story develops. We all hope that the paintings get back.

Take care,

Art

Paul Barford said...

Well, apparently there is a difference between the Dutch idea of aggressive language and the English.

Arthur said...

probably, may be you should learn Dutch ;-)

Paul Barford said...

Maybe when using a foreign language, you need to make sure you've got the meaning right - like "my men". And I am not "just teasing".

Arthur said...

Paul, I just to understand you better... Can you tell us a bit more about yourself? I try to find out what you do to see how serious I should take your posts.

When I read the internet you say you are an archaeologists, others say you are not. And what about all these other blogs in your name? Is that you? They seem to ridiculise you, so I guess it is not you.

The more I try to understand about you, the less I know. Please clearify a bit more.

Paul Barford said...

I am a black single mum from Senegal, who dropped out of school when I was raped by my maths teacher and now trying to support myself and my eleven-year old son by cleaning offices at night. Now, does that make any difference to what I wrote about your anti-Ukrainian conspiracy theory being based on gossip and surmise?

This is about understanding words, facts and meanings - not personalities.

Arthur said...

Strange answer. Of course it makes a difference. You seem to have an opinion about everything and you fight with almost the entire artworld. That is fine with me but people wonder what your background is. In other words: do you have any idea what you talk about? So are you an archaeologist as you state you are or are you not, as most others claim?

Paul Barford said...

An unmarried senegalese cleaning lady has no right to an opinion? Or has no right to express it? Or even though a stakeholder just no right to point out holes in a story spun by Dutch "art investigators"? Why does it matter to you and the metal detectorists so much "who" is talking more than what they say?

I do not have "an opinion about everything", I write about what I have an opinion on, and I back that opinion up not by "authority" but showing how I came to the conclusions I do.

Artefact collecting and coin fondling are not the "art world".

I'd prefer the reader to judge whether or not I "know what I am talking about"on the basis of thinking about what I say and whether it makes sense. People do, you know, think for themselves.

Arthur said...

Paul, did you see the reportage?

http://www.hromadske.tv/politics/letyuchi--gollandtsi-/

Are you still saying that we are wrong? Please comment. Normally you comment directly if it suits you...

Paul Barford said...

Um, er... ah... So I see you have not READ the update I posted earlier.

Yes I think you were wrong to rush to judgement because we can see that the latest report does NOT uphold the version you and Geerdink were using to pressurise the Ukrainian authorities.

Arthur said...

Well, than our discussion ends here. You really are one of a kind. Denying, denying, denying...

I will not waste my time anymore on people like you. Good luck with the rest of the bunch you are fighting with.

Paul Barford said...

Not "denying", questioning. Questioning your methods and conclusions. This blog is about questioning assumptions and glib statements about heritage matters,

Hoorn expects the Ukrainians to help them, after the provincial museum tried to go behind their backs and only contacted them months later when the trail had gone cold. Not much then for them to do really. A "list of names" is not the basis for any kind of case, no court would issue a search warrant on such a basis, neither here nor in the Netherlands. And then on top of that are the wild and intentionally damaging accusations made from the begionning and plastered all over the newspapers that this was allegedly done with the involvement of people 'right up to the top of Ukrainian politics'.

Arthur said...

they were informed already on the 7th of september as our minister has declared. You believe too much in conspiracies. Go find a job ;-)

 
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