Advertisement

FBI seeks public's help with 25-year-old art heist

FBI seeks public's help with 25-year-old art heist
The FBI has released previously unseen video in hopes of solving the 25-year-old art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. (FBI)

It remains one of the most notorious art heists in recent U.S. history -- notorious because the thieves made off with at least $500 million in art and because the case remains unsolved after 25 years.

Now the Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking the public's help in resolving the 1990 burglary at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Officials said they are asking for people to identify an unauthorized visitor to the museum the night before the theft.

Advertisement

The FBI on Thursday released previously unseen video footage captured by museum security cameras 24 hours before the heist, showing an automobile pull up next to a rear entrance of the museum. The FBI said the car matches the general description of a vehicle that was reported to have been parked outside the museum moments prior to the theft on March 18, 1990.

The video, which can be viewed in the clip above, also shows an unidentified man exiting the automobile and then being allowed inside the museum, against museum policy, by a security guard, according to the FBI.

"With the public’s help, we may be able to develop new information that could lead to the recovery of these invaluable works of art," said U.S. Atty. Carmen Ortiz, in a news release.

In the early morning of March 18, 1990, two people dressed in Boston police uniforms entered the museum and made off with 13 works of art, including pieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas and Manet.

The FBI said the individuals were allowed to enter by telling the security guard at the watch desk that they were responding to a report of a disturbance within the compound.

The museum is offering a $5-million reward for information that leads directly to the recovery of all the stolen items in good condition, said the FBI. The recovery of an individual object will result in a portion of the reward, based upon the object's market value relative to the other stolen objects.

There have been many dead ends and false leads in the case. In 1997, William Youngworth was taken into custody after saying that he was somehow involved with the heist, but his leads ultimately went nowhere.

This year, Boston Globe reporter Stephen Kurkjian released the book "Master Thieves," in which he revisits the case in great detail but doesn't solve the heist.

Those with information can call the FBI at (617) 742-5533 or the Isabella Gardner Museum at (617) 278-5114.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT
MORE:
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement