18th Anniversary of the Gardner Theft

Today is St. Patrick’s day, which marks the 18th anniversary of the thefts from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The director of the museum, Anne Hawley repeated the offer that the Museum would pay $5 million for information leading to the recovery of the works. As her statement on Friday said, “the theft of these rare and important treasures of art is a tragic loss to the art world and to society as a whole,” Hawley said in her statement. “Imagine never being able to hear a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth, read Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick,” or listen to a Louis Armstrong jazz piece ever again . . . The loss of these remarkable masterpieces removes a part of our culture essential to our society.”

Pictured here is The Concert, by Vermeer perhaps the most valuable and important of the stolen works.

Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

One thought on “18th Anniversary of the Gardner Theft”

  1. Does anyone have insight into what motivates an art thief? I’m working with a doctoral student who is interested in the criminal intent (aside from profit?? And I add the question marks because it isn’t clear to me how a thief profits–they must have a very limited client-base). So just curious. We’ve found a lot of information of theft of cultural property, we are working toward finding out how museums establish provenance, but the criminal mind . . .Any help?

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