Beautiful Creatures No. 5: Spider – Spinne – Araignée

Creatures, humor, Insights

No Alien. Just one of our harmless, useful  – and surprisingly cute looking – subtenants.

If you reduce distance, appreciation grows… 

Tipp No. 139: “Bärenstark – Strong As A Bear” by the Cartoonist & Illustrator Steffen Butz (Germany)

arts, Cartoons, Creatures, humor, Insights, Kunst, Tipps

Could you follow
your low, animal (brute) instincts
at least once week?!
She: If the bee extinction continues like that,
there will be no honey in the future anymore.
He: Well, we will eat just the beekeepers.
Damn, Hubert! We `ve got a caver in our toilet again!
Strange that there are always parts left over…
You will get better…, don`t worry.
Darling, I’ve found a personal trainer for us.
Finally, I got an unpleasant feeling when he told me, he is an emotional / stress eater with a fear of flying.
Yes! Scratch me, bite me, give me animal names!
The self-made baby changing table was really nice.

About The Cartoonist & Illustrator Steffen Butz…

Poem No. 194: “Let Birds” – by Linda Gregg (1942-2019)

Creatures, Gedichte, poems
Eight deer on the slope
in the summer morning mist.
The night sky blue.
Me like a mare let out to pasture.
The Tao does not console me. 
I was given the Way 
in the milk of childhood. 
Breathing it waking and sleeping.
But now there is no amazing smell
of sperm on my thighs,
no spreading it on my stomach
to show pleasure. 
I will never give up longing. 
I will let my hair stay long. 
The rain proclaims these trees,
the trees tell of the sun.
Let birds, let birds.
Let leaf be passion.
Let jaw, let teeth, let tongue be
between us. Let joy.
Let entering. Let rage and calm join.
Let quail come.
Let winter impress you. Let spring. 
Allow the ocean to wake in you.
Let the mare in the field
in the summer morning mist
make you whinny. Make you come 
to the fence and whinny. Let birds.

Insight No. 117: Media Freedom and Investigative Journalism Under Attack – Information War Next Level

Creatures, Insights, Movie, Oddities, Psychologie, psychology, Reisen, Technology, Travel

Don`t shoot the messenger!

Julian Assange is facing 175 years imprisonment or death penalty. UK will decide about his extradiction in Feb. 2020. His supporters and former friends – also located in Berlin – are threatened with indictments or imprisoned as well to give a deterrent example.

Investigative Journalism Is
No Espionage.

If the receipt and publication of secret
news with value for the public is forbidden,
what kind of topics are left to be reported as news?!

Nowadays …just naive wishful thinking???

Postcard No. 134: “The Geneva Freeport – A Top Secret Blackbox For Arts And Cultural Heritage”

arts, Creatures, Insights, Kunst, Oddities, Reisen, Travel, Uncategorized

The most secretive place in the land of banks and international organisations Switzerland is the Geneva Freeport.

Watched by surveillance cameras and surrounded by barbwire, the insular Geneva Freeport next to the French border gives home to many treasures like gold, diamonds, paintings, sculptures, drawings, antiquarian books, archaeological artifacts, the biggest vine cellar of the world (> 3 mio exclusive bottles of vine), antiques and much more assets hidden from the public eye and authorities.

Originally, the Geneva Freeport was a traditional a customs zone, warehouse for merchandise storage and logistics hub. Today, the 60.000 sqm high-tech complex – rented by the city of Geneva – is a permanent storage for transporters and private individuals to safeguard their assets. The complex is a high security facility which is protected from fire, earthquakes, terrorism and other threats.

In fact, Geneva Freeport is globally known as paradise for money laundry, tax fraud, evasion of inheritance duty payments, deception of wealth in case of divorces, hiding valuables of all kind (including spoils of different wars all over the world) for various reasons.

Actually, stolen arts and cultural heritage became a criminal currency worldwide long time ago. Therefore, many stolen art pieces are not offered to original owners for re-buying / cash reward or to the conventional arts market anymore – instead the art is circulating (often just virtually) in the underworld of organized crime.

Another reason, why stolen arts seem to disappear for decades are national legal loopholes. In a few countries, you will become the rightful owner of your prey, if you possess it for a specific number of years (e.g. in the Netherlands: 30 yrs, no surprise that van Goghs are missed, see below).

In the recent past, the Geneva Freeport was subject to a number of scandals referring trafficking of stolen cultural heritage, money laundry also linked to the Art Basel and trading with arts looted from Jews during WWII, such as the David Nahmad – Modigliani painting scandal.

In particular, the priceless art collection in this blackbox is shrouded in legend. The scope and worth of treasures is unknown because there was never an inventory check. But the arts shall be worth billions of USD (only the Nahmad collection is valued with USD +3 bn). The freeport is the most restricted area in Europe. It is guarded by the Swiss customs police.

Insider information say, that art work of Chagall, Modigliani, Vermeer, Rodin, Renoir, Picasso, Miro and even of Leonardo da Vinci as well as of other notable artists is temporarily but in most cases permanently stored in this blackbox.

Interestingly, the Geneva Freeport shall store art pieces from famous artists (like Picasso) that are not cataloged yet. It is an open secret that the complex probably contains also undiscovered art forgeries.

The Geneva Freeport is not just a warehouse. It offers facilities for renovation of arts, framing, packaging, special showrooms for owners to admire their treasures, lounges for sales negotiations and other deals to ensure that owners, collectors, curators, consultants, dealers, insurers, gallery representatives can meet in total privacy.

Of course, the freeport is the one of the major marketplaces for dealing with information in the discrete art world.

Experts say, the Geneva Freeport is actually the biggest museum in the world. A museum, nobody can visit.

Till today, no one – even not the Swiss authorities that regard the freeport as extraterritorial – knows what is stored inside, what is going in and out and who is involved in which role if treasures are traded or relocated. In particular, the financial beneficiaries are not known.


Retrieved And Lost Arts (Examples)

Found in Geneva:

Top left-hand side image: Roman relic to be returned to Turkey.

The two small images right-hand side: Stolen Etruscan sarcophagus and vase.

Image at the bottom: The bulls head among other ancient artifacts was stolen from the Eshmun Temple in Sidon during Libanese civil war.

Thanks to the Panama Papers Scandal, the Modigliani portrait of 1913:
“Seated Man With a Cane” (1918), valued over $25 mio.
was retrieved in Geneva
(r-h-s: David Nahmad, who claims to be the owner;
l-h-s: Oscar Stettiner, the original Jewish owner; his grandson claims the portrait is Nazi-loot.)

Wanted Arts With Unknown Location (Examples):

Vincent van Gogh’s paintings are also among the most frequently stolen.  In 2013, officially 85 van Gogh paintings (excluding drawings) were missing. In 2016, two paintings were found in an Italian country home of a Mafia member.

If you are curious like me, please find the link to the art loss register below…