You may see me struggle, but you won’t see me fall. Regardless if I’m weak or not, I’m going to stand tall.
Everyone says life is easy, but truly living it is not. Times get hard, people struggle and constantly get put on the spot.
I’m going to wear the biggest smile, even though I want to cry. I’m going to fight to live, even though I’m destined to die. And even though it’s hard and I may struggle through it all, you may see me struggle… but you will NEVER see me fall.
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.
THE GENEVA FREEPORT IS THE BIGGEST SAFE OF SWITZERLAND.
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.
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…
Japanese tanker owner contradicts U.S. officials over explosives used in Gulf of Oman attack
The Japanese owner of one of the oil tankers attacked near Iran on Thursday says the vessel was struck by a projectile and notby a mine.
The damage is above the waterline and notbelow sea surface, as alleged by US officials. The vessel will not sink. Cit.: “I do not think there was a time bomb, a torpedo or an object attached to the side of the ship,” Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo said yesterday`s press conference in Tokyo, adding that a projectile landed above the waterline.”
The tanker was attacked on the starboard and not on the portside like stated by Mike Pompeo.
“We received reports that something flew towards the ship,” says Yutaka Katada.
The Japanese owner of the tanker outlined that he doesn`t think that Iran is responsible for the attack. There is no prove and no reason for Iran to do so.
The Kokuka Courageous was hit around the same time as another tanker in the area, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair, which was hit by three explosions, according to the Norwegian Maritime Authority.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the blasts, with Iran denying US claims of Tehran’s involvement.
On Thursday, U.S. Central Command said that the Japanese oil tanker, Kokuka Courageous, had an “unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an initial explosion.”
Im Hofe steht ein Pflaumenbaum, Der ist so klein, man glaubt es kaum. Er hat ein Gitter drum, So tritt ihn keiner um. Der Kleine kann nicht größer wer’n, Ja – größer wer’n, das möcht’ er gern! ‘s ist keine Red davon: Er hat zu wenig Sonn’.
Dem Pflaumenbaum, man glaubt ihm kaum, Weil er nie eine Pflaume hat. Doch er ist ein Pflaumenbaum: Man kennt es an dem Blatt.
The Plum Tree
In the courtyard stands a plum tree, It’s so small, no one believes it. It has a fence around it, So no one can stomp on it. The little tree can’t grow, Yes – it wants to grow! No one talks about it; It gets too little sun.
No one believes it’s a plum tree Because it doesn’t have a single plum. But it is a plum tree; You can tell by its leaf.