Art Thrillers

Eight stories told in twelve episodes about the intriguing events in the world of art and art collecting.


For centuries works of art have been perceived as a sound currency, art was a sought after strategic resource. As such, masterpieces were often subject of property disputes, even on state level. Documentary series Art Thrillers presents the dark side of art world where beauty is marred by ugliness, where entrancement intertwines with grief and obvious blends into obscure.

Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Mimara: The Making of a Collector

In the course of WWII a significant part of Europe's cultural heritage was destroyed, displaced or plundered. Masterpieces were forged, becoming the subject of worst kind of malversations. The news that Italy had demanded some paintings from the Belgrade National Museum be confiscated caused quite a stir. These works allegedly became part of Goering's art collection under suspicious circumstances. Art collector Ante Topić Mimara redirected a number of valuable works to the National Museum in Belgrade, where they were filed as "reparation art". The authors of the program are trying to unravel the enigma surrounding this man who easily moved between social strata and was able to acquire major works of art in most remarkable ways.

Episodes 4 and 5

The Mysterious Mr. Šlomović

He disappeared somewhere in central Serbia during the Holocaust. He was barely twenty-seven. Erih Šlomović left behind the largest collection of impressionist and postimpressionist paintings in the Balkans. This collection is still the cause of disputes and court proceedings. Erih Šlomović, a young man who loved publicity, also left behind a lot of open questions. Who finked on him to the Germans, if at all? What happened with his collection? Did he buy those paintings, or did he inherit them? Perhaps he acquired them some other way? Who were the people he befriended during the five years he spent in Paris? When he returned from Paris in 1940, how was he received in Belgrade? He encountered a warm welcome in Zagreb, so why did he decide to join protests in Belgrade on March 27, 1941?

Episode 6

Woman in Gold

This episode of Art Thrillers tells a true story of Maria Altman, a seamstress from Los Angeles, who sued the Austrian state and won back the painting that Nazis had seized from her predecessors, the Viennese Jewish family Bloch-Bauer. Five contested paintings were part of the largest collection of Gustav Klimt's art in the world. They were national icons. Some even claimed that the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer was to Austrians what Mona Lisa was to the French.


Episode 7

The Biggest Heist Ever

In this episode of Art Thrillers viewers get a chance to win 5 million dollars. All they have to do is help FBI solve the case of the biggest ever heist of artwork - the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft that occurred in Boston 27 years ago, on March 18, 1990. To this day no one knows where the paintings are, or who took them, or what the motive was.

Episode 8

Cyprus Mosaics

This episode of Art Thrillers entitled "Cyprus Mosaics" focuses on safeguarding endangered cultural heritage. When Turkish forces occupied Northern Cyprus in 1974, pillaging of the abandoned Greek Orthodox churches ensued. The trail of looted Cyprus mosaics leads us to Indianapolis, where an American artwork dealer is trying to hold on to them although she is aware of the fact that they are part of the priceless Cypriot cultural treasure.

Episode 9

Emil and the Panthers

The episode "Emil and the Panthers" tells the story of the theft of a famous Cezanne painting from a Swiss museum. The tale has recently reached its epilogue in a most spectacular way in Belgrade. The authors of this program discover interesting facts about the museum and the way the founder of this collection, Emil Georg Buehrle acquired the paintings in the course of World War II. Eventually, the question arises: Who is the worse criminal, Mr. Buehrle or the Panthers?

Episode 10

Home Cooking

In this sequel of Art Thrillers there is a bit of everything: we get to see the insiders, the outsiders, the fake Picasso and some real heroes... as the mystery unravels. "Home Cooking" is about local forgers and foreign buyers, Serbian thieves, police, and a hero that only a few people know about. In the midst of the civil war in Yugoslavia in 1991, a Serb saved the Croatian art collection from the Vukovar museum - and ended up on the Interpol wanted list.

Episodes 11 and 12

Kalemegdan Kaddish

This is a TV film in two parts that tells the story of the little-known "lost" generation of Belgrade jazz musicians, sports enthusiasts and young Jewish people, the majority of whom died in the Holocaust. Having seen an old photograph of the famous Mickey Jazz Orchestra, the first jazz band in Serbia and the Balkans, a Belgrade journalist decides to find out more about those talented musicians.

Genre: Art history

Country of production: Serbia

Year of production: 2017

Author: Miodrag Certic

Duration: 12 x 60' HD + 1 special x 60' HD

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