“This [$10m] reward demonstrates the commitment of the museum and its board of trustees to the recovery of these important works. We are the only buyer for these works and they belong in their rightful home.”
Steve Kidder — President of the Gardner museum’s board (January 2018)
“I have spoken to former IRA members who say it was common knowledge these paintings were probably in hands of the organization.”
Arthur Brand — Dutch investigator and art adviser based in Amsterdam
On 18 March 1990 two men posing as police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and stole 13 famous artworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Degas, walking away with art today valued at $500m. The case was never solved. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
Arthur Brand, a Dutch investigator and art adviser based in Amsterdam, claims the art is in Ireland.
“The FBI have been in Ireland many times because they’ve had strong leads for the art being in hands of the Irish Republican Army, but some people think they’re still in America,” said Brand.
“Now they’re focusing on Robert Gentile, a mafia member who is 80 years old who was offered jail-free if he offered the paintings back. Does the FBI really think he wouldn’t make a deal if he knew anything? Gentile said he didn’t know where the art is, but the FBI is still focusing on that man.”
“I have spoken to former IRA members who say it was common knowledge these paintings were probably in hands of the organization,” he said. “One said, ‘I heard we had them.’”
“I am independent and I can make sure if someone comes forward, they remain anonymous, but nobody has come forward,” said Brand. “It’s complicated. It’s a strange case.”
Loss of DNA Evidence
In 2010, the FBI announced that some evidence from the original crime scene had been sent to the FBI’s Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, for retesting with the hope of finding new DNA evidence to identify the culprits of the theft.
In June 2017, The Boston Globe reported that some of the crime scene evidence collected by the FBI was missing and that, even after an exhaustive search, they were unable to locate the handcuffs and duct tape that were used to immobilize the museum’s two security guards.
The handcuffs and duct tape could have contained traces of DNA material from the thieves. [Wikipedia]
The Thrilling Gardner Museum Heist — BuzzFeed
On This Day — The Great Gardner Museum Heist (March 18 1990)