Friday, October 5, 2007

A stolen da Vinci was recovered: in defense of hoarding

Today’s revelation in London that detectives recovered a $65 million Leonardo da Vinci painting, Madonna with the Yarnwinder, stolen from a Scottish castle in 2003 by two thieves posing as tourists who'd overpowered a guide, is bad news for me. I’m married to a man with hoarding tendencies while my inclination is to toss out a newspaper once I've gotten the idea of a front page story.

The rationale for hanging onto stuff is, “I’m not sure what I want to do with it” or the even more vague and less convincing, “You never know”. We have Skitch Henderson albums, pictures of people nobody recognizes, Hebrew school report cards and thermometers that don't work.

The painting, which had been in the Buccleuch family for over 200 years and was recovered a month after the death at 83 of the ninth Duke of Buccleuch, is going to add to my problems as it will reinforce the argument that somewhere in the mounds of picture frames and stereo speakers cluttering our apartment may lurk something of value.

In the next few days – or decades, depending when they make their way through ten-year-old newspapers to get to this story, someone in the family will spit out at me, “If one of the Buccleuch family had been married to you, that painting would have been given to a thrift shop!"