Art Law Report

Focus of Gardner Investigation Accuses FBI of Entrapment

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on July 24, 2015 at 7:57 AM

Robert Gentile, whom the FBI has claimed has knowledge of the whereabouts of the paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, has moved to dismiss the indictment against him on firearms possession charges. He argues that the current investigation was manufactured solely to pressure him into cooperating with the Gardner investigation, and is unconstitutional as a result. He faces a tall task, but he has raised a few colorable constitutional issues.

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Topics: Robert Gentile, Gardner Heist, Robert Guarente, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, FBI, Museums

Sorting Through this Week’s Gardner Heist Developments: Old News is No News

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on April 21, 2015 at 12:53 PM

In a rare development not manufactured to coincide with the anniversary of the March 18, 1990 theft of thirteen paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, a man was arrested this week who has been identified previously by the FBI as a “person of interest” in the theft. So has there been a break in the case? Not really, but the details bear scrutiny. If, as a judge was told by the prosecution, Robert Gentile had been recorded offering to sell the paintings for $500,000, it would be a major breakthrough (and remarkable, given that a $5 million reward is available). But the recording has not been made public, and the FBI has greatly overstated the certainty of various players' involvement before, so the view here is skeptical until further evidence.

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Topics: Robert Gentile, Gardner Heist, Robert Guarente, Stephen Kurkjian, John Kerry, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, FBI, Bobby Donati, A. Ryan McGuigan, George Reissfelder, Breitbart.com, Vinnie Ferrara, Museums, Associated Press, Master Thieves: the Boston Gangsters who Pulled of, David Turner, Breitbart, Museum of Fine Arts

FBI Claims to Have "Confirmed Sightings" of Stolen Gardner Artwork, But Offers Only Stale Information and Conjecture

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on May 22, 2014 at 6:23 AM

The FBI said today that the bureau has received “confirmed” sightings of the works of art stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. Thieves dressed as police robbed the museum of thirteen major works of art on March 18, 1990, including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas and Manet. Read carefully, however, the story is nothing new at all, just a retelling of last year’s “news” released around the anniversary of the theft and a raft of conjecture.

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Topics: Gardner Heist, Philadelphia, Robert Guarente, Degas, and Robert Gentile, Carmello Merlino, The Storm on the Sea of Gallilee, Manet Richard DesLauriers, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston Globe, FBI, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Museums, Special Agent Geoff Kelly, La Cosa Nostra

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