Yesterday, on the 23rd anniversary of the heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the FBI announced that they are closer than ever to capturing the thieves responsible. In fact, they said they even think they know who did it. But they need the public’s help for the most important part: to recover those works of art still missing.
Their statement reiterated a $5 million dollar reward “for information that leads directly to the recovery of all of our items in good condition. What that means is that you don’t have to hand us the paintings to be eligible for the reward.”
In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, a pair of thieves disguised as Boston police entered the museum and stole thirteen works of art. The FBI has provided a list with information and images of these stolen works. Do you have any clues? Check it out HERE.
Isabella Stewart Gardner (April 14, 1840 – July 17, 1924) was an American art collector, philanthropist, and a bit of a society darling. In 1903, the doors opened to a museum designed to house her art collection, which had long outgrown her private residence.
At the time of the theft, many works were simply cut out of the frames. The museum has left these hanging empty, a monument, a memorial, or, let’s hope, as if simply waiting for their inevitable return.
You can find more information about the theft, and these objects, HERE.
One thing I’ve always wondered about such high profile thefts, and such high profile pieces, is how could such a thing be profitable? What is the market for stolen art? If, like me, you have this same question, I would like to refer you to this “mini-explainer” from Slate Magazine.
But don’t get any ideas.
And tell us: what would you do with $5 million dollars?