FBI says it has identified thieves behind Boston museum heist
The agency is “confident” it knows who stole the works and where they were taken, but is still searching
By Helen Stoilas. Web only
Published online: 18 March 2013
The FBI today revealed that it believes it has identified the thieves involved in the 1990 robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and tracked where the stolen works, which included masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer, were taken immediately after the theft.
“The FBI believes with a high degree of confidence that in the years after the theft, the art was transported to Connecticut and the Philadelphia region, and some of the art was taken to Philadelphia, where it was offered for sale by those responsible for the theft,” says Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, in a press release. “With that same confidence, we have identified the thieves, who are members of a criminal organisation with a base in the Mid-Atlantic states and New England.”
They are releasing the information in the hopes of finding out what happened to the works after the sale. “With this announcement, we want to widen the ‘aperture of awareness’ of this crime to reach the American public and others around the world,” says DesLauriers.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is offering $5m for “information that leads directly to the recovery of all of our items in good condition,” says the museum’s chief of security, Anthony Amore. “You don’t have to hand us the paintings to be eligible for the reward. We hope that through this media campaign, people will see how earnest we are in our attempts to pay this reward and make our institution whole. We simply want to recover our paintings and move forward. Today marks 23 years since the robbery. It’s time for these paintings to come home.”
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