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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

For about 50 years, Swedish crime-fiction writers have been setting their work in a homeland that’s socially and psychologically, if not economically, bleak and alienating. In the downbeat 1960s and 1970s policiers of Maj Sjowall and Per Wahoo, up through the brooding and sometimes explosively violent Wallender series by Henning Mankell, to the just-released film adaptation of the late Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Sweden, the social democratic paragon, has often seemed a society facing dislocating social pathologies and vaguely defined alienation. (Come to think of it, this sounds something like the US, without, of course, Sweden’s superior health care, child care and elder care, public infrastructure, low poverty rate, cleaner air, and, oft-times, world-class professional tennis players. Say, what is eating those Swedes?)

The Art of The Steal

The value of the Barnes Collection is incalculable. The largest single collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern art, it includes 181 Renoirs, 69 Cezannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos, 16 Modiglianis and seven van Goghs. A recent evaluation put it at $25 billion, but that’s a number meaningful only to an auction house.

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