The FBI and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum today announced a $5 million reward for the return of the paintings stolen in 1990, in the hopes the money will shake loose information about the whereabouts of the paintings.
In a press conference today - the 23rd anniversary of the heist - the FBI said it now knows who stole the paintings - a mid-Atlantic crime syndicate - but that it doesn't know what happened to the collection, which includes Rembrandt and Vermeer paintings, after it was moved to Connecticut and then Philadelphia:
The FBI believes with a high degree of confidence that in the years after the theft, the art was transported to Connecticut and the Philadelphia region, and some of the art was taken to Philadelphia, where it was offered for sale by those responsible for the theft. With that same confidence, we have identified the thieves, who are members of a criminal organization with a base in the Mid-Atlantic states and New England. After the attempted sale, which took place approximately a decade ago, the FBI's knowledge of the art’s whereabouts is limited.
The bureau adds:
"With these considerable developments in the investigation over the last couple of years," said Special Agent Geoff Kelly, who heads the FBI investigation, “it's likely over time someone has seen the art hanging on a wall, placed above a mantel, or stored in an attic. We want that person to call the FBI."
Any Icelanders out there with an appreciation for art?