Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Doubles Reward for Stolen Artwork

The museum is now offering $10 million for the missing pieces.

Photo via AP

It’s been 27 years since a pair of thieves dressed as Boston police officers made off with 13 pieces of artwork worth more than $500 million from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The paintings’ frames have remained empty ever since, a haunting reminder of the largest and most lucrative heist in art history.

In 1997, the museum’s trustees increased its reward for information leading to the art’s recovery from $1 million to $5 million, the world’s largest private reward. A decade later, the Gardner is doubling down to send a “strong message” that it remains serious about getting its Rembrandt and Vermeer back, offering an immediate payment of $10 million.

“These works of art were purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner for the ‘education and enjoyment of the public forever,’” board president Steve Kidder, said in a release. “It is our fervent hope that by increasing the reward, our resolve is clear that we want the safe return of the works to their rightful place and back in public view.”

Anthony Amore, the Gardner’s security director, promised total confidentiality for anyone who comes forward with information on the stolen works. “This offer is a sign that our investigation remains active. Our hope is that anyone with knowledge that might further our work will come forward,” he said. “Typically stolen masterpieces are either recovered soon after a theft or a generation later. We remain optimistic that these works will ultimately be recovered.”

The $10 million offer expires at the end of the year. Tipsters are encouraged to call (617) 278-5114, or email theft@gardnermuseum.org.


Kyle Scott Clauss Kyle Clauss, Digital News Writer at Boston Magazine bmagdigital+kclauss@gmail.com