Art theft is big business. Very little gets returned, with most disappearing into the clutches of grasping private collectors, Thomas Crown-style, or – as is more likely – sold to fund underworld drug, arms and terrorist activities. In America, Sooke meets an unrepentant Myles Connor, the infamous thief who art-napped for a living, making a killing from rewards. He then turns his attention from the Mafia – thought to have stolen 1.5 million works of art in Italy over 40 years – to the most stolen work of art of all time, the Ghent Altarpiece, coveted by the Nazis.
It must be hard for an art lover to see his passion treated so indecently and Sooke is clearly miffed. Intriguing stuff.