Just a quick reminder that a painting by a recognized artist of value still holds currency as an alternative form of illicit payment:
Prosecutors detained Romania’s previous finance minister Wednesday on suspicion that he took bribes, including gold bars and a painting by French Impressionist Auguste Renoir, when he was mayor of a southern town.
Prosecutors said Darius Valcov had hidden the painting, three kilograms (6.6 pounds) of gold and stashes of cash worth $410,000 in a friend’s safe from 2011.
He was detained for 24 hours.
Valcov resigned as finance minister on March 15 after prosecutors charged him with taking 2 million euros ($2.1 million) in bribes when he was mayor. He denies wrongdoing.