Boston museum extends $10M reward for info on 'world's largest art heist'

By Ray Downs  |  Jan. 11, 2018 at 8:24 PM
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Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston said it will extend its $10 million reward for information on what it calls the "biggest unsolved art theft in world history."

In the early morning hours March 18, 1990, two thieves disguised as police officers made their way into the Gardner museum, handcuffed a security guard and walked away with 13 paintings by some of the world's most famous artists, including Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet. The total value of the illicit haul is estimated to be more than $500 million.

According to The New York Times, the FBI said it has information that points to two suspects who are both dead. Nonetheless, the case is still under investigation.

The museum's $10 million reward was extended on Dec. 31 just before a deadline that would have reverted the award amount back to $5 million.

"There were so many calls and so much to do leading up to midnight on December 31," Anthony Amore, director of security at the museum, told artnet News. "I literally got my last call at 2 minutes to midnight. We didn't stop and have discussions about extending the reward or ask, 'What do we do on January 1?'"

Although the statute of limitations for the criminal act of swiping the paintings expired in 1995, the FBI, U.S. Attorney's Office and museum officials are still investigating leads that would recover the paintings.

"It's important to indicate to the public that we remain dedicated to recovering the paintings," Amore said. "We haven't lessened our resolve. We were also heartened by how much outreach we received towards the end of the year and felt it prudent to keep the reward where it was."

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