Art detective Arthur Brand is going to Hollywood. Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought the film rights to his book The Horses of Hitler. “The book is now published in ten languages, from Japan to Spain, from South Korea to France. And that hasnt gone unnoticed,” says the man who is also called the Indiana Jones of the Art World. That nickname is now in danger of becoming a reality.
He became world news when he found Hitlers horses, the gigantic bronze statues of the National Chancellery, in 2015. For seventy years, everyone had assumed that that Nazi art had been destroyed. “The Cceit brought the news first, and that day it was breaking news all over the globe.”
It is far from his only achievement, besides, to name the most famous things, he tracked down a stolen Picasso, the ring of Oscar Wilde, masterpieces from the Westfries Museum, the manuscript of the Hafez, the Meissen porcelain. Arthur Brand has been navigating between the underworld and the upper world for years, negotiating with serious criminals, art practitioners, secret services and governments.
Who will perform the 51-year-old detective in the feature film Hitlers Horses, he does not know. “But they also produce James Bond, so itll be a good actor, and not one of The Bold and the Beautiful.”
MGM even has two projects in mind with Arthur Brand. “Apart from Hitlers horses, the American film company also wants to create a half-fiction-half-truth series based on my cat and mouse game with Octave Durham.” Durham got nationwide fame as a Van Gogh thief.
“ After my book was published in the Netherlands two years ago, I already had a conversation with a Hollywood team. We sat in a restaurant, I told a hundred and so also about Okkie, who was always too slippery off me. Was, I must say, because he definitely stopped as an art rover. I hunted him, we just got a beer on the terrace together, because we like each other. Were both on one side of this crazy world, hes the only one who gets it to me, and vice versa. “Call him, “the filmmakers said. Well, I can talk to you, but he took over, it turned into one big Okkie show. Two of those half-yarn, the Americans couldnt live up to their luck. And so the idea was born for the series. On the set we are allowed to advise. I am already rejoicing how Okkie then explains his way of working, and that I can then call on which case it is.”
Brand doesnt tell you how much film and series are going to get him. “It was for me the honor, I did not negotiate. If youre too handy, they say “let it sit.” And I never did anything for the money, I have a little upstairs house, I dont even own a car. The detection of these bronze horses took me a year and a half and a lot of trips, which I had to pre-finance myself. As a little boy, I dreamed of the adventure, no different, and I got it. Im an ordinary boy, with an unusual life.”