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Photograph of Ian Buckley

Artful Occupation

by Ian Buckley

Read by AWL on 6 September 2004

Paris 1940. The victorious German army establishes its grip on Paris. All title-holders to safety-deposit boxes or vaults, in all banks in the capital, are warned to report to the new authorities. Their valuables will be inventoried by officers of the German army. Pablo Picasso visits the vault where his paintings are stored, accompanied by two German officers. What follows is a battle of wits between Picasso and them. Each has his own agenda, each tries to gain mastery and impose it on the others. Exactly what happened in that vault on that day? How did one artist deal with the menacing might of German military bureaucracy? Could anyone claim a victory? A comic look at a real situation, mixed with a good dash of imagination.

Peter Mair
Joshua Le Touzel
Neil Herriot
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