Museum Security Network

The Gardner Theft: Twenty Years Later

The Gardner Theft: Twenty Years Later

Anthony Amore, Director of Security, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in conversation with Tom Ashbrook, host of National Public Radio’s On Point
In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, thieves dressed as Boston police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and stole thirteen works of art. Twenty years later, the investigation to recover the missing paintings continues.
In a rare public program, Gardner Museum Director of Security Anthony Amore dispels some of the myths and misinformation by telling the real account of what happened on the night of the theft. New information on the museum’s progress to recover the works of art add to this dramatic ever-evolving story of loss and hopeful recovery.
Anthony Amore is the security director for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Prior to joining the museum in 2005, he spent 14 years with the federal government as a special agent with the Federal Aviation Administration and later joined the Department of Homeland Security. He spearheaded the efforts to federalize security at Logan International Airport after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and was the agency’s lead responding agent to the attempted terrorist attack by the so-called “Shoe Bomber” that same year. He is currently investigating the theft of 13 priceless works of art stolen from the Gardner Museum in 1990.

Tom Ashbrook, host of National Public Radio’s On Point, is an award-winning journalist whose career spans twenty years as a foreign correspondent, newspaper editor, and author. He spent ten years in Asia starting at the South China Morning Post and later as a correspondent for The Boston Globe. He began his reporting career covering the refugee exodus from Vietnam and the post-Mao opening of China, and has covered turmoil and shifting cultural and economic trends in the United States and around the world. At the Globe, where he served as deputy managing editor until 1996, he directed coverage of the first Gulf War and the end of the Cold War. Ashbrook received the Livingston Prize for National Reporting and was a 1996 fellow at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation.

This event is sold out. Please contact the Gardner Box Office at 617 278 5156 or online to purchase tickets for other concerts and events.

Related programming:
Join us on Thursday, March 11 for The Dutch Room: Absence and Desire, a Room Views conversation with Curator of Contemporary Art Pieranna Cavalchini and Artist-in-Residence Elaine Reichek.

Anyone with information about the theft, the location of the stolen artworks, or the investigation should contact Gardner Museum Director of Security Anthony Amore directly at 617 278 5114 or
The Museum is offering a reward of $5 million for information leading to the return of the stolen artworks in good condition. The Museum can ensure complete confidentiality.

Art Hostage Comments:

Anthony Amore, Man of Virtue, Morality and Honour, will be ready to answer all the awkward questions avoided over the years about the Gardner Art Heist.

Whilst this trip down memory, or should I say Nightmare lane is a useful educational exercise, it does not offer solutions to recovering the actual stolen art.

Unless of course Carmen Ortiz has told the FBI to step aside and allow a private recovery of the Gardner art without prosecutions.

The much maligned FBI in Boston have to be seen to be doing their job and they would like nothing better than to have the Gardner case taken from their jurisdiction and dealt with exclusively by Carmen Ortiz and Anthony Amore.

If Carmen Ortiz stands down the FBI and allows Anthony Amore to be very specific about the reward and issues an immunity agreement for giving Proof of Life, then the first hurdle will have been overcome.

Followed up by another immunity agreement for the actual recovery of the Gardner art. Once these things are in place then the recovery will happen.

Over to the Catholic Church Confession Box for the symbolic recovery of the Gardner art.

Followed by the Gardner Museum putting the Vermeer and co back on display.

However, when the Stolen Gardner Art, especially the Vermeer, goes back on display at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum , the crowds will stretch to the Canadian border and beyond.

Art Hostage predicts over 10 million people will jam the switchboard trying to book to see the Vermeer and co.

Come to think about it, how about Anthony Amore announces during the radio interview the reward is to double to $10 million to allow for inflation since 1997 when the reward was last increased from $1 million to the current $5 million. That would make certain people sit up and take notice and would send a clear message the time has come to bring home the Gardner art.

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