The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist of 1990 remains one of the most heinous art crimes in history. To commemorate the stolen art, the museum leaves up the empty frames until the art is returned. Most of the stolen art is on the second floor, which is now undergoing conservation. This little frame honors the only painting on the first floor of the museum that was stolen, and is the only empty frame to be seen until the second floor conservation ends. 🖌🎨🕵🏻 #artheist #isabellastewartgardnermuseum #boston
In March 1990, two men posed as police officers broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and stole 13 paintings valued at $500 million. The heist was one of the biggest art thefts in history, and the FBI has never been able to recover any of the work stolen nor make any arrests of the men who did it.
Now, one man who prosecutors believe may have information about the heist, Robert Gentile, is on his deathbed, according to his attorney. And the feds are desperate to get as much information out of him as they can.
“I told him that if there ever was a time to give up some information that you haven’t yet, that I don’t know, this would be it,” his defense attorney, Ryan McGuigan, told the Guardian. “He said, ‘Yeah, but there’s no painting,’” McGuigan continued. “His story has never changed in the six years that I have represented him.”
Gentile is currently being accused of selling a loading firearm to a convicted killer (McGuigan has stated that the charge is merely an excuse for prosecutors to question Gentile about the paintings).
Gentile has repeatedly denied that he has any information about the paintings’ whereabouts. But federal prosecutors say they have a recording of Gentile telling an undercover policeman that he has access to at least two of the paintings, which he was willing to sell for $500,000 each. In 2012, an FBI search of his home turned up a handwritten list of the paintings and their value, as well as police uniforms. [Guardian]