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Boston Globe: FBI Should Re-Open City’s ‘Most Notorious Unsolved Mystery’

By The Boston Globe
Editorial Board

After Decades of frustration, the FBI ought to try opening its files on the Gardner Museum heist in hopes that fresh vision will help crack Boston’s most notorious unsolved mystery. The theft of 13 priceless works of art, including Rembrandt’s “Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” 25 years ago on March 18, left a gaping hole in the city’s cultural landscape. The FBI has worked hard to find them, and appeared to be close to a breakthrough two years ago. But as another anniversary passes, and witnesses who might have useful information get a year older, the bureau should enlist the public’s help in a more robust way.

In 2013, the bureau and the museum announced that they believed they knew who stole the paintings, and identified them as “members of a criminal organization with a base in the mid-Atlantic states and New England.” Apart from that, though, investigators didn’t make much specific information public. Instead, it created a dedicated FBI website and displayed billboards in the Philadelphia area, where the bureau thinks some of the art may have ended up. The publicitygenerated tips, but no art.

Typically, criminal investigators reveal as little information as possible before making an arrest, mostly to avoid tipping off targets, but partly to discourage irresponsible bystanders from trying to take matters into their own hands. There are enough fresh examples of the dangers of crowd-sourced criminal investigations — just think of the false accusations after the Marathon bombing — to reinforce that conventional wisdom.

But the Gardner heist is different. Getting the art back to its home on the Fenway is far more important than actually arresting anyone.

To read more click here. 

Here is a listing of the works stolen, according to the FBI:

Vermeer, The Concert
Rembrandt, A Lady and Gentleman in Black
Rembrandt, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee
Rembrandt, Self-Portrait
Govaert Flinck, Landscape with Obelisk
Manet, Chez Tortoni
Degas, La Sortie de Pesage
Degas, Cortege aux Environs de Florence
Degas, Program for an artistic soiree (1)
DegasProgram for an artistic soiree (2)
Degas, Three Mounted Jockeys
Chinese Beaker or Ku
Bronze Eagle Finial

 

 

 

 

 


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