WHERE HAVE YOU GONE?! …….. PIET MONDRIAN, Epilogue
You never really can anticipate what condition or conditions can come close to preventing a multi million dollar, pound or guilder transaction from being resolved with all parties pleased or, maybe the word, in this case is, sedated.
Bas had brought the diamonds. The Israelians had brought an expert and so did the Dutch. They all examined them with their jewelry glass and they ohed and awed over them like they were looking at a new born baby; or, in this particular case, 100 newly arrived babies. No one even attempted to put a monetary value on the hoard. That would take time. The first conflict was to iron out what the big players percentage share would be. Ton, at the beginning of that discussion, pointed to the other interested parties (my group) and how each had made a contribution that resulted in the meeting that was now underway. Without these minor players, none of us would be here. The big boys acknowledged that and presently went at each other throats, but in a polite and diplomatic way. They did start out by agreeing amongst themselves that they felt, in view of the enormity of monies involved, that five percent for the spear carriers---you might call us---in the back row, would be an adequate compensation. Of that five percent, the bulk would go to both Jan Jansen and Bas Meyers.
But what almost became the glitch that would sink the deal was: The frame.
Jansen was insisting that the painting was naked without it. That the frame had been tailored made for it. Bas asserted that his father had considered the frame his masterpiece. He would show his son the photograph he had had made---at great expense---and claimed it was his greatest achievement. The battle royal actually became a rather comic sideshow of the events that transpired that day. It was finally resolved, by Bas, saying that he would pay to have a copy of the frame made. Jansen, at first, said a copy was not an original. Here we go again, I thought, what is real and what isn't real. I was the one who pointed out that a frame was not a work of art and had nothing to do with originality. Bas frowned on that, but Jansen did accept my premise. As I said, neither was pleased, but they ceased fighting over it. Hey, I thought, maybe I should be a diplomat.