Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gardner Art Heist Anniversary

Twenty years ago today, two armed men entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and performed one of the biggest art heists in history. In a little over an hour, these two men stole an estimated $300-500 million by grabbing thirteen works of art. Some of the stolen paintings included Vermeer's The Concert (1658-1660) and Rembrandt's Storm on the Sea of Galilee (1633, shown right). This Rembrandt painting is especially of interest, since it is the only known seascape by the artist.

And now, twenty years later, investigators are making another effort to try and get the stolen art back. The Associated Press reported this week that two billboards have appeared on Interstates 93 and 495, advertising the $5 million reward.

I bet there aren't a lot of crimes which receive billboard attention twenty years after the fact. Although I kind of doubt that billboard signs are going to help recover these famous works of art, who knows? I hope that the Gardner museum gets its collection back one day.

*The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has been in the news recently, due to a controversial modern wing that will be built onto the museum. You can read my take on the subject here.