Or they do have it and they fed this article to wired regardless .
This is a great way to promote this site !
Is this for investment purposes, in which case, how would they sell this in the future? Surely the legality issues would reduce the pool of potential customers, and the overall resale value.
Or are there people who will buy such a painting for their own personal enjoyment? (I guess just because I don't see the value, doesn't mean there aren't people with vast amounts of disposable income who will buy things like this on a whim.)
If that hypothetical person happens to live in a country where extradition to New Zealand would be impossible, or they have appropriate connections, it might be seen as an acceptable risk.
And perhaps in a few generations, the heirs of that wealthy person could sell it on. I don't really know how it works if you discover you've inherited property that was stolen a hundred years ago for example. At what point does it become yours?
At no point does it become yours. I'm pretty sure that, while you can't necessarily prosecute the person currently in possession, you could almost certainly recover the property if you could prove it was stolen from your estate.
Added: In most English speaking countries it becomes a crime to willfully possess stolen property as soon as you know that it is stolen. In general, the lack of mens rea in merely possessing stolen goods would make it enough to repatriate the goods, but if that's not enough, most statutes on the matter explicitly state that you must know and wish to unlawfully handle the stolen property.
Edit: or not in this case, my bad.
In Poland the Art. 292 of Criminal Code and Art. 122 of Misdemeanor Code says something like "an item, about which on the basis of accompanying circumstances should and may be suspected that it has been procured by an illegal act" and directly addressed accidental fencing of an item (Art. 291 and 121 respectively address intentional/knowingly fencing an item).
I have no idea how that works in practice but googling "accidental fencing" in Polish ("nieświadome paserstwo") brings up a few results about people who bought cheap stuff online and it turned out to be stolen.
Here's one case like that with a lawyer's answer/opinion if you want to try Google page translate or can read Polish: https://www.eporady24.pl/nieswiadome_paserstwo,pytania,6,64,...
If it's stolen and the government is after you (in this they will), you're toast.
It's not like buying something from e-bay, and it turns out the seller boosted it from a van; that is not your fault.
I think you may have lost track of the thread here. I was addressing this question posed by gtsteve.
> And perhaps in a few generations, the heirs of that wealthy person could sell it on. I don't really know how it works if you discover you've inherited property that was stolen a hundred years ago for example. At what point does it become yours?
It is obviously unlawful to traffick knowingly in stolen goods. It is as serious a crime as the theft itself (sans aggravating factors like use of force or intimidation, especially with a deadly weapon).
Through my travels, I've met some insanely wealthy people (most were borderline billionaires, some were actual billionaires) and I've been told once you reach a certain income level, having something that is rare or something nobody else has is their way of standing out among their friends. If all your friends have more money than god, you need something especially expensive or rare that isn't acquirable from simply being able to buy it.
Secondly, wealthy art collectors are notorious for buying rare, stolen art. There's an entire underground for it. I've read several books on it and you'd be surprised at how many pieces float around in the underground market without anybody ever knowing about it. I've had friends who run in the art circles comment on a famous piece that was being displayed in a person's home and they ask about it and they brush it off and say, "Meh, it's a replication, I mean, it would be illegal to have the real thing, right?" with a wink and a nod to the person. Just the idea they have something no one else can have gives them plenty of enjoyment. Passing it off as a fake and the thought they're getting away with something also has something to do with it.
For the most part the legal maneuvers likely would have stalled out if not for the leaking of the Panama Papers years ago which shed light on who owned which shell companies, and how, etc.
Heres the short version of the article, theres also a more in depth podcast:
Also, many time the Nazis officially or unofficially (ruling elites in city) "bought" them from Jewish owners. We can guess the price "agreed" to in those times.
It works by lumping the coins of all the users together, breaking any direct connection between the endpoints of any given transaction.
Suppose Alice makes a deposit at the bank, but in the margin of the deposit slip she writes "for Bob". The cashier at this particular bank records a credit of $1000 from Alice, then prints and mails $1000 of cashier's checks to Bob, recording that series of debits as well. Later, the authorities raid the bank and seize its ledger. They can see a credit from Alice and a bunch of debits to Bob, but there is no transfer between Alice's account and Bob's account; this only proves that Alice could have paid Bob. If this bank has hundreds of other customers making similar transactions every day, it's basically impossible to use the ledger alone to prove any connection between Alice and Bob.
Now scale that up so that "the bank" is actually a consortium of banks that also perform a bunch of transactions among themselves to further obscure any associations among customers.
It's now easy to tell you're the thief as you own all the bills with all the ID numbers that were registered as used for the sale.
You then put it in a big box together with a thousand others who all also have $1k. You then shake and tumble the box, and then hand out $1k to each and everyone of them.
It's now quite hard to determine who is the thief, as everyone has about 1 registered bill, but 999 unregistered bills.
Then magnify that by a lot and throw in some extras, and it gets tricky.
Monero is not a magic-cure-all! Monero needs a very big warning like Tor Project says, how Tor is not alone going to save you.
Another big piece of management is a tree-shaped wallet-graph. You want to split your money regularly, then churn and obfuscate each wallet. And NEVER JOIN THEM. Even with Monero there is no safe way to join amounts. If you split into Wallet1 and Wallet2, then 10 transactions later they are running low and you want to consolidate, then you run a high risk of correlating all those transactions.
At this time, there is no official guidance on how to use Monero safely.
I don't think there ever will be :) It all depends on risk tolerance, as you correctly noted.
Given the painting was stolen, is it better that the insurance company can recover it for some money (thus meaning that money was lost, which is easily replaceable) so the painting can continue its life (possibly including public exhibition). Money is easier to replace than a painting, paintings are irreplaceable.
This doesn't prevent all fraud but it seems to work pretty well for dark markets.
Presumably any potential buyer has access to the ability to make your life very short and painful...
As far as I can tell, the only thing potentially binding darknet sellers is reputation, i.e. they want to be able to make further sales under this name. Even then, people run scams on eBay where they build up a sterling record selling small items for months, then "sell" something worth six figures and vanish with the money.
I am curious why you thought this claim needed a reference. It seems like a pretty basic form of fraud everyone should be aware of.
The artist concerned here "is considered as one of New Zealand's leading artists" and has a "unique painting style", and so there are very few paintings that are like his, and (probably crucially, although I'm not familiar with the specifics) plays a role in New Zealand national identity.
You can get plenty of expressive landscape paintings, in the sort of style of an unimaginative Van Gogh, produced by hundreds of artists throughout the 20th century, and most are perfectly pleasurable to look at, but you've never heard of the artists, and the works are easily available for hundreds to a few thousand dollars -- because they are not rare, it doesn't particular matter which of the many available paintings you end up buying, as long as you enjoy looking at it.
For example, if an artist had most of their work destroyed, any remaining paintings would be a rare painting by that artist.
Or if a historically significant figure had only been painted by a small number of people, any painting of that person could be described as rare.
It's probably fake anyway!
E.g. Edvard Munch's "The Scream"  exists in four different versions that are all referred to by that name (as well as 45 litographs).
Other times simply because the artist painted the same subjects a lot.
Though by my own definition, it means the scribbles on the side of my notepad are equally (if not more) rare. So disregard my comment as 5.30pm without enough caffeine nonsense.
Or even just "A Rare example of a great masters work." which seems perfectly reasonable to me.
He probably just means valuable or unique(as a kind of painting whether by authorship or other kind). Title in a previous version might have been "Rare Gottfried Lindauer painting is stolen...", but was shortened.
On a different note, how can you buy without confirming authenticity?
Artists often explore the same theme in steps and create several versions of the same picture. There are four paintings of "The scream" by Munch for example.
Some kind of art is created to be duplicated. Videoart and computer art, by design. Painters living much before computer age still managed to create thousands of "identical" copies of their pictures as a standard procedure. Auctions are full of lithographs, sometimes painted decades after the death of the artist.