The greatest art theft in American history
occurred in ~ the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston on march 18, 1990. The steal paintings, consisting of the one that hung in this frame, Rembrandt’s “Lady and Gentleman in Black,” continue to be unrecovered.
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It was the art heist that the century, and two decades on, Boston billboards room being offered to jog the public’s memory, reportsTom Moroney
ART LOVERS that didn’t catch Rembrandt’s The Storm ~ above the Sea that Galilee in ~ the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum before 1990 deserve to now view it on electronic billboards outside Boston – courtesy that the FBI. 20 years ago, on march 18th, the netherlands master’s only seascape, in addition to a dozen various other artworks, disappeared native the museum. 2 billboards began flashing the Rembrandt painting this week, along with the phone number because that a “tip line” and also information around a $5 million (€3.7 million) reward.
“Maybe somebody will certainly be control along and say, ‘Hey, I’ve checked out that paint before!’,” claims Rocky Sisson, executive, management vice-president the Phoenix-based clear Channel out Holdings, i beg your pardon donated usage of the billboards on federal government 93 and Interstate 495.
The $500 million (€370 million) theft ranks as history’s best art heist, claims Geoffrey Kelly, the FBI agent in charge of the case for the previous eight years. Follow to the museum’s website, the thieves additionally took two other Rembrandt works, including A Lady and also Gentleman in Black ; one paint each through Vermeer, Manet and Flinck; 5 sketches by Degas; a Chinese beaker indigenous the Shang Dynasty; and also an eagle finial from the optimal of a Napoleonic flag.
FBI agents have actually travelled to Paris, Japan and also other destinations come track hundreds of leads in the past two decades, Kelly says. “My guess: v is the it to be probably regional guys. The thef may have actually planned to use the art as bargaining chips come barter for diminished punishment for future crimes, fairly than intending to sell it. Yes a very solid possibility that these guys went in to execute a an easy robbery and unwittingly committed the heist of the century.”
The crime started at 1.24am once two thef disguised as police policemans were admitted come the museum by a security guard. The pair bound and also gagged both guards on duty v handcuffs and duct tape, then invested 81 minutes picking their loot, follow to the FBI.
The Boston billboards no the first to be provided by the FBI. Billboards have actually helped the agency solve 35 crimes in the previous two years, including robberies and missing persons cases, states spokesman kris Allen. However the FBI’s Boston office there is no received any type of tips since the electronic billboards went active with Rembrandt’s work three job ago.
Museum officials space confident the the paintings will be went back some day, follow to Katherine Armstrong of the Gardner, in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. The museum keeps vacant spaces wherein the four largest stolen paintings were displayed.
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“What keeps me up at night? Going into the museum and seeing those north spaces,” states Geoffrey Kelly.