Saturday, February 12, 2005

J6M's Vermeer?

Two FBI agents investigating the 1990 art theft from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston went to Paris to investigate whether Jean-Marie Messier, fairly recently deposed head of entertainment conglomerate Vivendi Universal, knows the whereabouts of some of the stolen art. Vivendi Universal is the corporate abortion created by moron heir Edgar Bronfman, Jr to fritter away billions of dollars of the Bronfman fortune, a fortune which was of course originally acquired by the illegal smuggling of alcohol into the United States from Canada during Prohibition (the story of how Bronfman, a hick from Canada, got taken by the sharks of the French corporate establishment, is quite funny). The FBI agents met with the French prosecutors involved in the French investigation of Messier's alleged fraudulent stock trading. The FBI's underworld source, described as being 'right more often than wrong', claims that Messier's personal collection contains four of the 13 pieces stolen, including two Rembrandts and a Vermeer. Messier's French lawyer Olivier Metzner says that the allegations are "the kind of information pulled from a trash pail". Messier calls himself J6M, short for 'Jean Marie-Messier, moi-même maître du monde' ('Jean Marie-Messier Myself Master of the World'). On December 7, 2004, Messier was fined one million Euros by French regulators for deliberately deceiving investors in Vivendi (Messier is appealing the decision). A year before, he had to pay the SEC, and give up considerable corporate perks, for similar deceptions. The only time I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - an outstanding museum - was a few weeks after the theft, so the only way I guess I'll ever get to see the stolen paintings is if I start to travel in the better circles in France.

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