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Arts

Art Thieves Identified

3.18.13

<i>The Concert</i> by Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). Now missing, it is one of only 34 verified Vermeers.

The Concert by Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). Now missing, it is one of only 34 verified Vermeers.

Photograph courtesy of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Anthony Amore at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, with empty frames that held venerable paintings before the 1990 theft

Anthony Amore at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, with empty frames that held venerable paintings before the 1990 theft

Photograph courtesy of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

In a law enforcement breakthrough, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced on March 18 that it has identified the thieves who stole paintings valued at an estimated $500 million from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990, as the Boston Globe reports. The Gardner heist is widely considered history’s biggest art theft, and the FBI announcement came on its twenty-third anniversary.  The report states that the thieves are associated with a major criminal organization in New England and the mid Atlantic states, and that the paintings were sold in the Philadelphia area about a decade ago.  The paintings have not yet been recovered, though there is a $5 million reward for them or information leading to their recovery in good condition.

 The Gardner’s head of security, Anthony Amore, M.P.A. ’00, was the subject of an article in Harvard Magazine focusing on his 2011 book, Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists. The article links to a slide show of works purloined from the Gardner, and a video interview with Amore about art theft below.

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