On the night of March 18, 1990, a pair of thieves disguised as Boston police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and roamed the museum’s galleries, stealing thirteen works of art.
Perhaps the biggest property theft in recorded history, this 1990 theft of paintings including Rembrandt’s only known seascape, remains unsolved. Holy shhhhhmoly! That sounds more like a movie plot1 , than something that could have happened in the 90′s.
It’s Day 2 at the Met MakerBot Hackathon and everyone’s down to work on their new art, and it’s crazy to think that we’re at this point. Because here’s the thing: we thought we’d have to come in and “steal” this stuff, until the Met listened to the idea and got excited about it and helped us take it a few steps further.
The idea of an art heist has still been tossed around. Let’s face it: heists make good stories. It’s good drama about a few people against a big group and you start cheering for the underdog. But what you never see in the movies is all the people who won’t see that art because of some trickery.
Food for thought:
• Just last year, a drawing by Picasso was stolen from a gallery in San Francisco. The gallery’s president, Rowland Weinstein, said his “greatest fear” was that “the person will realize it’s unsellable and will dispose of it in a less-than-proper manner.”
• The frames of the stolen pieces from the Gardener Museum, mentioned above, are still hanging empty on the walls, just waiting for the art to return.
- actually that does sound a lot like the end of The Town [↩]
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