01/02/2011 07:32 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Book details strongman Vladimir Putin's artful ways

WAS it theft or a diplomatic misunderstanding?

Either way, when Vladimir Putin left the Guggenheim Museum with a vodka-filled glass sculpture shaped like an AK47 rifle, no one had the courage to stop him.

That, at least, is the tale told by an art consultant who was working at the prestigious New York venue in 2005, when the alleged incident took place. Nic Iljine, 66, outlines details of the incident in The Hedonist's Guide to Art, a collection of essays by curators, collectors and critics.

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