Last year we called shenanigans on the seemingly-random, but actually predictable “updates” about March 18 1990 theft of paintings by Rembrandt, Manet, and others from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Our point last year was simple: the manufactured stories about what the FBI claims to know (“confirmed sightings” and the supposed identity of the supposed thief) are worse than no news. The FBI has no idea where those paintings are, and I am highly skeptical of the FBI’s claims to know who did it. It’s theoretically possible that protecting the identity of a dead thief would be important to an ongoing investigation, but that presupposes that there is anything going on. I am unpersuaded that anything new has happened in years.
The FBI issued a press release today in which it states that with a “high degree” of confidence, it has identified the thieves responsible for the 1990 theft from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. This development is remarkable for what it says, and what it does not, and deserving of a skeptical view given its timing. The FBI release adds sufficient details to rise above the rumor mill, but it raises as many questions as it answers.
Topics: Edgar Degas, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Gardner Heist, The Concert, Govaert Flinck, Chez Tortoni, 1990, Edouard Manet, La Sortie de Pesage, Anthony Amore, Rembrandt, Tom Mashberg, Vermeer, Three Mounted Jockeys, Program for an artistic soiree 1 & 2, March 18, Museums, Richard DesLauriers, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Theft, James “Whitey” Bulger, Cortege aux Environs de Florence, A Lady and Gentleman in Black, Landscape with Obelisk