A student of mine was shown the paintings of Picasso. Les demoiselles d’Avignon and some other properly Cubist portraits, heavily inspired on the African sculpture he so admired in the Louvre. Sculpture he admired so much that he is rumoured to have stolen some of these sculptures. “He stole from Africa” said John. He did not mean the sculptures from the Louvre, the theft John was referring to was more fundamental. Africa is a continent from which people steal. Picasso stole what was “African” That theft has enriched us beyond our wildest dreams. The nature of the theft was that he took without exchanging. Perhaps one would argue that he he did not steal as the nature of the exchange was that he made Europe aware of wealth of African Sculpture. But that is a false argument. You could just as easily say that Africa wasn’t waiting to be made aware of. Who is Europe? For all Africa cares she could have been some woman of easy virtue who allowed herself to be raped by a Bull. Disgusting. Theft is a form of exchange where the other party has no control, where the justification is purely unilateral. It does not preclude the possibilities of benefitrs to all concerned, even the victim, but those are not calculated into the equation. They are thought to be contingent and irrelevant.