We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I don't know what you would do with a stolen Van Gogh, but I do know that a lot of people would love to see his paintings. But people can't see his work, because all of the originals are in museums, or private collections. But wait! Can't we just hire some good artists to make perfect copies? That way, we can put the copies on exhibition all over the world. And not just Van Gogh. We can display the work of all the famous artists; people would love it!
But sadly, we can't do that. Why? Because unbelievably, the current owners of every famous painting in the world claims to own the copyright of that image. Even though it was painted hundreds of years ago; and no copyright was ever applied for by any of the artists. It's not just selfishness that has caused this problem. Washington D.C. doesn't want the history of Western Civilization to go on display. Remember that Washington is full of black communists, and their plan is to erase western heritage, and replace it with a history that they have fabricated out of thin air. A history where blacks are good; and whites are bad. And they don't want people to see a bunch of paintings of happy white couples, or beautiful places. Black nationalists are trying to sell communism on the premise that marriage and love are forms of oppression. But that's not the story told in those paintings. According to Washington D.C. white people are evil disciplinarians who take all of the fun out of life. That's why blacks refer to the "religious right". That term is designed to imply that religion as part of a moral code is fascist. (meaning: white). Therefore, nobody has the authority to create or enforce moral codes. In fact, black people claim, there aren’t any moral codes. There are only “urges” which must be obeyed, because "feelings" are a natural expression of who we really are. White men who make the law are monsters; they just want to stop spirituality from unifying the human race through erotic pleasure. Rocky! Dr. Scott! Snoop!
Come on, man.
Don't sell it, appreciate it.
Hang it up in a backroom, like a study on the third floor. Do not put it on display in the foyer, or main living room where others might see it.
Have the fence set up before the robbery, so it can be dumped quickly.
Apparently if your plan to sell the Caravaggio to underworld figures in Florence fails, what you do is find a local art historian who is conspiracy-minded and wary of police corruption, but very well connected. You offer to exchange the painting for a ransom, and because he won't involve the police, he gets his friends in the post-office/telephone office to trace the calls and record the subsequent wiretaps on the quiet.
The art historian has to bring in the police once the 'handover' is agreed, however. So once you get close enough to the sting site that you see the police helicopter trailing your car, you drive around aimlessly in the countryside until they stop and arrest you out of frustration. While you are in custody, an associate phones in a tip from a public phone in a crowded area about where the painting actually is, hidden in a garage whose owner left it unlocked by habit.
The call tracing and wiretaps were of course done without a warrant, so pretty much any evidence linking you to the painting or the scheme had to get thrown out, leaving prosecutors with no case.
So you end up with the painting returned, and everyone in the region knowing that you did the theft and got away with it.
A random 'where are you from' in an outdoor seaside cafe in Marsaskala turned into a long deep philosophical conversation about forgiveness, salvation, and the afterlife, after which my local colleagues wondered how I knew this notorious art thief so well. He was murdered not long after.