In 1986, a million dollar Picasso painting disappeared overnight. A neat white placard informed patrons of the National Gallery of Victoria that the artwork had been removed by the A.C.T., which many presumed to mean that it had simply gone on a road trip to a be displayed in the Australian Capital Territory… when, in fact, it was being held ransom by the Australian Cultural Terrorists, who threatened to keep and/or destroy the famous painting if the government didn’t raise the abysmal funding it gave to the arts. The painting was found, safe and sound and in fact strangely well cared for, in a locker in a train station some weeks later, and the thieves were never caught.
This is their story, or at least, a story that could have been theirs, tangled up with the stories of several other ordinary people and a South American ghost legend in a great dramatic fishing net and flung into the Yarra River. Continue reading