Author(s): Matthew Hart
Vermeer, Goya, Rembrandt, Rubens - the Beit art collection was worth millions. For decades Sir Alfred and Lady Beit had lived peacefully at Russborough House in Ireland. Until people started stealing their paintings...Of all the canvases at Russborough, it was Vermeer's Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid that most caught the public's imagination. Twice stolen, once by an IRA sympathiser and then by notorious gangster Martin Cahill, it risked being lost from view forever, unless the Garda, together with Scotland Yard and some seasoned international art detectives, could contrive the perfect sting...Matthew Hart tells the riveting story of the theft and recovery of some of the world's most important art, finding new leads and unexpected connections in the mysterious underworld of international art crime.
'A highly readable account of the way criminal lowlife gets involved with great art...written in a sharp thrillerish style...a diverting mixture of mad daring and blind incompetence on both the right and wrong sides of the law' Daily Mail
Matthew Hart is a writer and journalist, and the author of Diamond: The History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair. His work has appeared in The Times, Granta and the Atlantic Monthly among other publications. He was born in Canada and now lives in London.