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How to Steal a Masterpiece: Advice from the World’s Greatest Art Thief


Stephane Breitwieser, one of the greatest art thieves of all time, shares his advice on how to steal a masterpiece. His tips include arriving during lunch when the security staff is shorthanded, dressing sharply, and bringing an accomplice as a lookout. Also, he emphasizes the importance of choosing an attractive work that can be easily removed, and leaving the museum through the main entrance rather than a window or skylight. Finally, he stresses the importance of not trying to sell the stolen art, and instead hiding it in a place where no one can accidentally see it.


What tactics should be avoided when stealing art?
Skylight entries, smoke bombs, and shootouts should be avoided when stealing art.

What tips does Stephane Breitwieser, one of the greatest art thieves of all time, offer for successful art crime?
Breitwieser advises arriving during lunch when the crowds are thinner and the security staff rotates shorthanded to eat, bringing a trustworthy accomplice as a lookout, dressing sharply, and using a Swiss Army knife.

What are the risks associated with art theft?
The risks associated with art theft include being caught by police, having a criminal record for life, and spending time in jail.

How can one remove a painting from a museum wall and frame?
To remove a painting from a museum wall and frame, Breitwieser suggests using a Swiss Army knife to manipulate the clips or nails on the back until the frame is detached.

What advice does Breitwieser offer for avoiding detection when stealing art?
Breitwieser advises blending in with the tourists, noting the flow of visitors and checking for surveillance cameras, selecting a side room with a single entryway and no security camera or permanent guard, and leaving the museum with a partner after no more than 15 minutes in one room.

AI Comments

👍 This article is a great overview of the world of art theft, from the techniques and strategies used by a master thief to the moral implications of stealing artwork.

👎 This article glamorizes the criminal behavior of art theft, providing readers with an unrealistic picture of the risks associated with stealing artwork.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about how to steal a masterpiece. It's a true story of love, crime, and a dangerous passion. Stephane Breitwieser, one of the greatest art thieves of all time, reveals his criminal mind in great detail.

Friend: Wow, that's pretty wild. What are the implications of the article?

Me: Well, the article clearly demonstrates that art theft can be accomplished without any violence or destruction. It also shows that it's important to be prepared and well informed in order to successfully steal a masterpiece. It's also important to have a partner to act as a lookout. Finally, it's important to be aware that trying to sell a stolen piece of art is a surefire way to get caught.

Action items

Technical terms

Skylight entries
A skylight entry is a type of entry into a building or structure through a skylight, which is an opening in the roof or ceiling that allows natural light to enter.
Smoke bombs
Smoke bombs are devices that release a thick cloud of smoke when ignited. They are often used in military operations, as well as in film and photography.
A shootout is a gunfight between two or more people, typically involving the exchange of gunfire.
Cinematic is an adjective used to describe something that is related to or has the qualities of a movie or film.
Silicone slice
A silicone slice is a technique used to open a museum display case without damaging the lock. It involves making a fine surgeon's cut with a sharp blade to release the seal of the case, which is usually fused at the edges with silicone glue.
Swiss Army knife
A Swiss Army knife is a multi-tool pocket knife that contains a variety of tools such as a blade, scissors, screwdriver, and bottle opener.
An overcoat is a long coat that is worn over other clothing for warmth and protection from the elements.
Contemplatively is an adverb used to describe a state of deep thought or reflection.

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