Robar a Rodin… A not-to-be-missed for visual arts

It’s impossible to forget that afternoon of 2005, when the TV news announced that someone had “stolen” a work of Rodin from the Chilean museum Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. A tragedy for the country, for its diplomatic relations with other countries, tactical evidence about the carelessness and lack of security of the museums of this country… There were (are) several doubts, between the uncomfortable of a situation that reveals the reality and a true piece of art… It didn’t take too long and the result was known by everyone.

This year, the past becomes the present, this time with the testimony of all of the people involved in the Robar a Rodin documentary. A film that should be mandatory for students of art since it shows how things happen in Chile, and the question should be, who are we to judge “art”?


That expensive piece of art of Rodin was delivered 24 hours after its disappearing.  Luis Onfray, a timid student made the delivery, claiming that he had stolen it as a part of an artistic project in which he wanted to prove that “a piece of art was more present when is not”, said the press release.

Twelve years after, Cristóbal Valenzuela, who knew Louis Onfray from University, investigated 6 years among artists, lawyers, theoreticians, security guards and the young student, not only the implications of the case but the outcome and performance of the involved institutions, with a view of detective and a comic view “Both lines, the police stuff and the comedy, worked as an interesting way to talk as a background of topics like contemporary art, its function, the definition of art and the artists role in societies”, said in the statement.

Produced by the notable documentary filmaker María Paz González and recently awarded as the best Latin American documentary in FICViña, act like “a detective account that allows us satirize the state of the contemporary art and the contradictions of the artistic chore”.

The producer María Paz González acknowledges that one of the obstacles was deal with the lock of the Rodin Museum, in Paris, which deny shootings inside, also they forbid all its involved people to talk with the directors. “The Rodin Museum interpreted that our film was an apology of theft”, the idea that is left is that it is funny to go around stealing pieces of art of Rodin.   Even if there is an irony concerning with the silly fact that it never was the intent to raise that to the viewers. It was so difficult to get Milan Ivelic as well. The theft is one of the worst memories of all of the years in which the museum was in charge. Remember that it was not something that create him interest, that’s why we thank so much the openness to dialogue that had the museum and the authorities that were involved in the case, those who understood the reflective dimensions that was proposed by the movie in relation to art and the artist’s chore.” Said González.



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