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[ABANDONED] Portrait of a Crime

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Fontenais
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Founded: May 18, 2019
New York Times Democracy

[ABANDONED] Portrait of a Crime

Postby Fontenais » Thu Aug 22, 2019 9:53 pm

This is somewhat similar to issue 1074, except in this issue something valuable has actually been stolen and the problem is how to get it back.
The options are (1) pay money (2) take it by force (3) take it by stealth

Description:
The priceless artwork ‘Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@’ by @@DEMONYM@@ painter @@RANDOM NAME@@ was shockingly stolen from the @@CAPITAL@@ Art Gallery overnight. After the alarm bells were raised this morning, a meeting has been called in the Art Gallery to deal with the situation.

Draft One
Description:
The priceless artwork 'Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@' by @@DEMONYM@@ painter @@RANDOM NAME@@ was recently stolen from the @@CAPITAL@@ Art Gallery. After weeks of investigations, the painting suspiciously turned up in the office of the Supreme Leader of Blackacre. While fingers have been pointing, there is no concrete evidence to prove that the Supreme Leader of Blackacre stole the painting. A meeting has been called in your office to deal with the situation.

Option 1:
The Ambassador from Blackacre @@RANDOMNAME@@ pompously announces, ‘Lady with @@A@@ or @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@ was found in Blackacre so finders’ keepers losers’ weepers. If @@NAME@@ wants the painting back, Blackacre will be reasonable enough to let you buy it for a fair market price. How does… $500 Million @@CURRENCYPLURAL@@ sound?’

Effect: Priceless @@DEMONYM@@ artworks often go missing and turn up in other countries

Option 2:
‘BLACKACRE WANTS HOW MUCH?’ blusters Army Chief @@RANDOMNAME@@, while going purple in the face. Lady with @@A@@ or @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@ is a national treasure! It’s obvious that Blackacre were the perpetrators of this act of aggression and we must retaliate with extreme prejudice! @@LEADER@@, you must authorise the army, navy, air force and girl scouts to take back the painting by force!’

Effect: Girl scouts are being trained to use sniper rifles against foreign forces

Option 3:
A man wearing a pinstripe suit walks into your office and introduces himself as Salvatore Lombardo. He places a hand on your shoulder and says in a raspy voice, ‘It is a terrible injustice that has been done to @@NAME@@. I will get the painting back for you, as a friend. Just say the word, and I’m gonna make the leader of Blackacre an offer he can’t refuse’.

Effect: Even @@LEADER@@ shows the Godfather respect

Draft Two
Description:
The priceless artwork 'Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@' by @@DEMONYM@@ painter @@RANDOM NAME@@ was recently stolen from the @@CAPITAL@@ Art Gallery. After weeks of investigations, the painting suspiciously turned up in the office of the Supreme Leader of Blackacre. While fingers have been pointing, there is no concrete evidence to prove that the Supreme Leader of Blackacre stole the painting. A meeting has been called in your office to deal with the situation.

Option 1:
The Ambassador from Blackacre @@RANDOMNAME@@ announces, ‘Blackacre maintains complete innocence in the theft of ‘Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@, however we found it so finder’s keepers loser’s weepers. If @@NAME@@ wants the painting back, Blackacre will be reasonable enough to sell it for a fair market price. How does… $500 Million @@CURRENCYPLURAL@@ sound?’

Effect: Priceless @@DEMONYM@@ paintings often go missing and turn up in other countries

Option 2:
‘BLACKACRE WANTS HOW MUCH?’ blusters Art Curator @@RANDOMNAME@@, while going purple in the face. ‘Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@’ is a national treasure! Any fool can see that Blackacre were behind this act of aggression and we must retaliate with extreme prejudice! @@LEADER@@, we must take the painting back by force, by all means necessary!’

Effect: Art Critics are being trained to use sniper rifles against foreign forces

Option 3:
A mysterious man wearing a pinstripe suit enters your office and says, ‘I am Salvatore Lombardo, but please, call me Godfather. It is a terrible injustice that has been done to @@NAME@@. I will get the painting back for you, as an offer of my friendship. Just say the word, and I’m gonna make the leader of Blackacre an offer he can’t refuse’.

Effect: Even @@LEADER@@ shows the Godfather respect

Draft Three
Description:
The priceless artwork 'Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@' by @@DEMONYM@@ painter @@RANDOM NAME@@ was recently stolen from the @@CAPITAL@@ Art Gallery. After weeks of investigations, the painting suspiciously turned up in the office of the Supreme Leader of Blackacre. While fingers have been pointing, there is no concrete evidence to prove that the Supreme Leader of Blackacre stole the painting. A meeting has been called in your office to deal with the situation.

Option 1:
The Supreme Leader of Blackacre announces via conference call, ‘Leader, I am completely innocent in the theft of ‘Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@’, however, I found the painting so finder’s keepers loser’s weepers. If @@NAME@@ wants the painting back, I will be reasonable enough to sell if for a fair market price. How does… $500 Million @@CURRENCYPLURAL@@ sound?’

Effect: Priceless @@DEMONYM@@ paintings often go missing and turn up in other countries

Option 2:
‘The Supreme Leader of Blackacre wants HOW MUCH?’ blusters Art Curator @@RANDOMNAME@@, while going purple in the face. ‘Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@’ is a national treasure! Any fool can see that the Supreme Leader of Blackacre was behind this act of aggression and we must retaliate with extreme prejudice! @@LEADER@@, we must take the painting back by force, by all means necessary!’

Effect: Art Critics are being trained to use sniper rifles to take out foreign leaders.

Option 3:
A mysterious man wearing a pinstripe suit enters your office. ‘I am Salvatore Lombardo, but please, call me Godfather. It is a terrible injustice that has been done to @@NAME@@. I will get the painting back for you, as an offer of my friendship. Just say the word, and I’m gonna make the Supreme Leader of Blackacre an offer she can’t refuse’.

Effect: Even @@LEADER@@ shows the Godfather respect

Draft Four
Option 1:
While you are standing in front of a bare wall at the @@CAPITAL@@ Art Gallery, a secret service agent hands you a mobile with an anonymous caller on the line. ‘Hello, Leader. If you ever want to see ‘Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@’ again, send $500 Million @@CURRENCYPLURAL@@. I will call later with further instructions.’ The phone call ends.

Effect: Priceless @@DEMONYM@@ paintings often go missing and turn up in other countries

Option 2:
A second secret service agent walks up to you. ‘Leader, we’ve traced the location of the anonymous caller to the office of the Supreme Leader of Blackacre…’ – ‘You managed to trace it WHERE?’ interjects Art Curator @@RANDOMNAME@@, while going purple in the face. ‘Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@’ is a national treasure! @@LEADER@@, we must take the painting back by force, by all means necessary!’

Effect: Art Critics are being trained to use sniper rifles to take out foreign leaders.

Option 3:
A mysterious man wearing a pinstripe strides up to you. ‘I am Salvatore Lombardo, but please, call me Godfather. It is a terrible injustice that has been done to @@NAME@@. I will get the painting back for you, as an offer of my friendship. Just say the word, and I’m gonna make the Supreme Leader of Blackacre an offer she can’t refuse’.

Effect: Even @@LEADER@@ shows the Godfather respect
Last edited by Fontenais on Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:49 am

Did option 1 just admit to stealing it?
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SherpDaWerp
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Postby SherpDaWerp » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:07 pm

Fontenais wrote:@@A@@ or @@AN@@

This macro is just @@AN@@, it decides whether to use 'a' or 'an' based off the Animal's name. Although the editors will sort out the macros if it gets published.

Fontenais wrote:@@LEADER@@, you must authorise the army, navy, air force and girl scouts to take back the painting by force!’
Effect: Girl scouts are being trained to use sniper rifles against foreign forces

Girl scouts joke falls a little bit flat here, it kinda seems tacked-on to the actual issue. Maybe replace with art critics, to keep relevance?

Fontenais wrote:A man wearing a pinstripe suit walks into your office and introduces himself as Salvatore Lombardo. He places a hand on your shoulder and says in a raspy voice, ‘It is a terrible injustice that has been done to @@NAME@@. I will get the painting back for you, as a friend. Just say the word, and I’m gonna make the leader of Blackacre an offer he can’t refuse’.

Effect: Even @@LEADER@@ shows the Godfather respect

The introduction of 'Salvatore Lombardo' could be something he says, instead of being stated. For example:
A mysterious man wearing a pinstripe suit enters your office. "My friend, I am Salvatore Lombardo, but please, call me Godfather..."

This would be better IMO, but it depends on preference.
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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:45 pm

There's potentially an interesting issue here about possession of artworks that are later revealed to have been stolen some time in the past, and what should be done with said property, though I believe it would work better at the level of private individuals rather than nations.

Said issue could take inspiration from the RL legal complexities around Nazi plunder -- Should a private owner of a piece who bought it in good faith be forced to return it with no compensation when it is revealed that half-a-dozen owners ago it was acquired through theft?

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Fontenais
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Postby Fontenais » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:35 pm

Australian rePublic wrote:Did option 1 just admit to stealing it?

In option 1 I intended Blackacre to mean 'we didn't steal the painting we just found it and if you want it back cough up'. I have edited it to (hopefully) make my meaning clearer.

However, in many places it is generally theft to keep someone else's lost property when you know who the owner is. It is also arguable that Blackacre has committed theft on the grounds of receiving stolen property. But of course Blackacre wouldn't admit that they committed theft.
Last edited by Fontenais on Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Fontenais
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Postby Fontenais » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:43 pm

SherpDaWerp wrote:This macro is just @@AN@@, it decides whether to use 'a' or 'an' based off the Animal's name. Although the editors will sort out the macros if it gets published.

Thank you! I wasn't sure how to use @@A@@ or @@AN@@ - I have edited this
SherpDaWerp wrote:Girl scouts joke falls a little bit flat here, it kinda seems tacked-on to the actual issue. Maybe replace with art critics, to keep relevance?

I definitely agree that art critics makes more sense than girl scouts - I have also edited this
SherpDaWerp wrote:The introduction of 'Salvatore Lombardo' could be something he says, instead of being stated. For example:
A mysterious man wearing a pinstripe suit enters your office. "My friend, I am Salvatore Lombardo, but please, call me Godfather..."

This would be better IMO, but it depends on preference.

That does flow a lot better - I have also edited this
Last edited by Fontenais on Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Fontenais
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Postby Fontenais » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:45 pm

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:There's potentially an interesting issue here about possession of artworks that are later revealed to have been stolen some time in the past, and what should be done with said property, though I believe it would work better at the level of private individuals rather than nations.

Said issue could take inspiration from the RL legal complexities around Nazi plunder -- Should a private owner of a piece who bought it in good faith be forced to return it with no compensation when it is revealed that half-a-dozen owners ago it was acquired through theft?

That is an interesting issue – it reminds me of the film Woman in Gold (2015)
I think although there is a common thread of art restitution it is a bit outside the scope of what I wanted to cover but I think it would make an excellent issue in its own right – maybe you could write about it?
Last edited by Fontenais on Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Fontenais
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Postby Fontenais » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:42 pm

I was just thinking, with regards to validity, should this issue be invalid for nations with very low culture? I have seen some nations with negative culture, and possibly these nations wouldn't have an art gallery with priceless paintings.

What does everyone else think about this?

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Postby USS Monitor » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:57 pm

I think it would make more sense for the painting to be in the hands of a private individual, even if it is someone who lives in Blackacre.

The idea of a nation stealing art without any sort of military action just seems weird to me. Historically, when one nation has plundered art from another, it's usually accompanied by other aggressive behavior like war or colonialism.

And if it wasn't the Blackacrean government that stole it, then why is it the ambassador offering to sell it back to you?
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Fontenais
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Postby Fontenais » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:17 pm

USS Monitor wrote:I think it would make more sense for the painting to be in the hands of a private individual, even if it is someone who lives in Blackacre.

The idea of a nation stealing art without any sort of military action just seems weird to me. Historically, when one nation has plundered art from another, it's usually accompanied by other aggressive behavior like war or colonialism

Yes that certainly makes more sense - I have worked it into draft 3
Last edited by Fontenais on Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Fontenais
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Postby Fontenais » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:41 pm

USS Monitor wrote:And if it wasn't the Blackacrean government that stole it, then why is it the ambassador offering to sell it back to you?

My intention was to leave it ambiguous as to whether Blackacre (now Supreme Leader) stole the painting or not. All the evidence is before you. You can either give Blackacre (Supreme Leader) the benefit of the doubt, or you can say, 'well, of course Blackacre (Supreme Leader) stole the painting'.

My thinking was, the conclusion you come to on Blackacre's (Supreme Leader's) guilt would then justify, to some extent, the option you pick.

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Postby Candensia » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:08 am

Fontenais wrote:
USS Monitor wrote:And if it wasn't the Blackacrean government that stole it, then why is it the ambassador offering to sell it back to you?

My intention was to leave it ambiguous as to whether Blackacre (now Supreme Leader) stole the painting or not. All the evidence is before you. You can either give Blackacre (Supreme Leader) the benefit of the doubt, or you can say, 'well, of course Blackacre (Supreme Leader) stole the painting'.

My thinking was, the conclusion you come to on Blackacre's (Supreme Leader's) guilt would then justify, to some extent, the option you pick.



I Agree with Monitor. It makes the situation much more believable if the painting is in the hands of a private individual. It makes little sense why a nation would want to go through all the effort of stealing / organizing the theft of a national treasure, and making an effort to cover their tracks, only to be open to selling that same treasure back to @@NAME@@. And if they didn’t steal it, then offering to sell it back doesn’t make sense.

Perhaps the party with custody of the painting can be some sort of Blackacre oligarch, with connections to people in the government and enough capital to back a heist.

Someone like that might want to mount a treasure of a rival power on their wall, y’know for kicks.
Last edited by Candensia on Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Fontenais
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Postby Fontenais » Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:00 am

Candensia wrote:Perhaps the party with custody of the painting can be some sort of Blackacre oligarch, with connections to people in the government and enough capital to back a heist.

Someone like that might want to mount a treasure of a rival power on their wall, y’know for kicks.

In draft 3 the person who presumably stole the painting is the Supreme Leader of Blackacre.

Do you think this is ok, or should it be like: option 1 is from 'an anonymous caller' who then demands ransom, and then in the second option, someone says 'leader, we traced the caller to the office of Supreme Leader of Blackacre'

edit: I have put something along those lines in draft 4
Last edited by Fontenais on Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:49 am

The priceless artwork ‘Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@’ by @@DEMONYM@@ painter @@RANDOM NAME@@ was shockingly stolen from the @@CAPITAL@@ Art Gallery overnight.


A high profile theft! So the gallery owner should call the police, right?

After the alarm bells were raised this morning, a meeting has been called in the Art Gallery to deal with the situation.


I expect there would be. The question is, why is the nation's leader there?

You'd actually expect the meeting to consist of the gallery owner, the insurance people, maybe the police. No reason for any politician to be involved in the decision making process.

While you are standing in front of a bare wall at the @@CAPITAL@@ Art Gallery, a secret service agent hands you a mobile with an anonymous caller on the line. ‘Hello, Leader. If you ever want to see ‘Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@’ again, send $500 Million @@CURRENCYPLURAL@@. I will call later with further instructions.’ The phone call ends.


Who is the ransom demand being made to, the government or me personally? Either way, why are they approaching me?

Effect: Priceless @@DEMONYM@@ paintings often go missing and turn up in other countries


Effect lines need to deliver a joke, generally, or at least state the outcome in an interesting way.

Option 2:
A second secret service agent walks up to you. ‘Leader, we’ve traced the location of the anonymous caller to the office of the Supreme Leader of Blackacre…’ – ‘You managed to trace it WHERE?’ interjects Art Curator @@RANDOMNAME@@, while going purple in the face. ‘Lady with @@AN@@ @@ANIMAL@@’ is a national treasure! @@LEADER@@, we must take the painting back by force, by all means necessary!’


Yeah, that makes no sense. Why would the leader of another sovereign state be stealing your art? Why would they then make petty ransom demands? Why would they do so personally from their office? Why would the response then be war, rather than saying to the police "hey, you'll never guess who the thief is?"

Option 3:
A mysterious man wearing a pinstripe strides up to you. ‘I am Salvatore Lombardo, but please, call me Godfather. It is a terrible injustice that has been done to @@NAME@@. I will get the painting back for you, as an offer of my friendship. Just say the word, and I’m gonna make the Supreme Leader of Blackacre an offer she can’t refuse’.


Right, because organised crime cartels have better ability to mount overseas military operations than governments do.

Sorry, this issue as a whole is all over the place right now. The premise makes no sense, and the options make no sense... You need to start from scratch, I think.
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Fontenais
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Founded: May 18, 2019
New York Times Democracy

Postby Fontenais » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:43 pm

Well, it is disappointing, but I can see this isn't a good issue so I have abandoned it - it was a good learning experience anyway


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