Editorial: Pssst, d'you wanna buy an Olympic medal?

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The Independent Online

Art thieves tend to have short, unsuccessful careers. Most are prompted by a mix of greed (eye-popping auction values) and laziness (museum burglar alarms seem less of a challenge than bank vaults); few, if any, are either the connoisseurs of The Thomas Crown Affair or the rob-to-order elite of Ocean's Eleven.

But if those behind last week's heist at Rotterdam's Kunsthal are struggling to off-load a haul including a Picasso, two Monets and a Matisse, their challenge is hardly less than the hawking of a hot Olympic medal or two.

It can only be hoped that yesterday's arrest over the two bronze medals swiped from a Mayfair nightclub will lead to their swift recovery. But the question of the thief's next step remains tantalisingly unanswered. Then again, with metal prices sky high, perhaps the scrap value was enough. The same can hardly be said of a canvas, be it ever so beautifully daubed.