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Art Theft - Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum


One of the papers I'm doing this semester is on Art Crime, and through doing this paper I've learned all about infamous thefts that have occurred mainly in Museums or Art Galleries.  One of them, the Gardner theft, is particularly interesting with how the thieves got in and also by the fact that to this day the art stolen has not yet been recovered.
On the night of March 18, 1990, a pair of thieves, disguised as Boston police officers, tricked and tied up two security guards and entered the Museum and roamed the Museum’s galleries, stealing thirteen works of art.  These works included a number of Rembrandt's including the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Vermeer’s The Concert as well as a finial from the top of a pole support for a Napoleonic silk flag.  This last item confused investigators as the item was not as valuable as the paintings, and was chosen over other more valuable paintings such as a Titan, which led them to believe that the theft was possibly 'made to order' in that a collector had specific interest in these items and hired people to acquire them.
Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt and The Concert by Vermeer are ones of particular interest and importance as there are only 34 known works by Vermeer in the world including the stolen work and the Storm on the Sea of Galilee is Rembrandt's only known seascape which makes both pieces of considerable worth.  The stolen pieces are estimated to be a loss of $500 million, making the robbery the largest private property theft ever
The owner, Isabella Stuart Gardner, wished for the Museum to not be altered at all.  In accordance with those wishes the empty frames that once held the works are hung in their original place which can be seen in the photo above.  Like when the Mona Lisa went missing people come to see where the crime took place and wonder if they will ever see these stolen master pieces again.
Hope you all enjoyed this post

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