European arts channels have boarded “Art Crimes,” a documentary series about some of the most spectacular art heists of the 20th century. The series will feature dramatic reconstructions of thefts, with input from those involved: the investigators, prosecutors and some of the thieves themselves.
Each installment in the six-hour series will examine an individual case. The lineup includes the 2002 disappearance of two paintings from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the theft of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” from the Oslo Museum, and the mysterious burning of Picasso’s “Harlequin’s Head” in a remote Romanian village after the picture was stolen from a museum in Rotterdam.
The broadcast partners are Berlin-based RBB, which will show it regionally, and Franco-German cultural channel Arte, which will show it nationally in both France and Germany. The Italian version of the Sky Arts channel is also involved and has taken local rights.
Berlin-based showrunner Stefano Strocchi is putting “Art Crimes” together. It will be a three-way co-production between his Unknown Media banner, Italy’s DocLab and Romania-based Adenium Film. RBB, Arte and Sky Arte Italy are official co-pro partners.
“Each episode will be a unique, unexpected thriller, mixing true-crime documentary, the incredible access to the protagonists the production developed and fictional elements,” said Christian von Behr, commissioning editor at RBB/ARTE. “The series plays with everyone’s imagination, wonder and mystery around the disappearance of world-famous masterpieces, perfect for one of our primetime slots.”
The series will bow in 2021. U.K.-based Met Film Sales has boarded the project. It is kicking off the sales effort at IDFA in Amsterdam.