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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum doubles reward to $10 million for return of art stolen in 1990
Édouard Manet, Chez Tortoni, about 1875, oil on canvas. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

BOSTON, MASS.- The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Board of Trustees announced today that it is doubling its reward from $5 million to $10 million for information leading to the return of 13 works of art stolen from the Museum in 1990. The increased offer is available immediately and expires at midnight on December 31, 2017. The reward is fully backed by the Museum and its Board of Trustees.

“These works of art were purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner for the ‘education and enjoyment of the public forever,’ said Steve Kidder, President of the Gardner Museum’s Board. “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.”

In 1997, the Museum increased its offer from $1 million to $5 million for information leading to the return of the art, making it the largest private reward in the world. Twenty years later, the announcement of a $10 million reward sends a strong message that Museum officials are serious about their commitment to bring the works back to the Museum.

“We encourage anyone with information to contact the Museum directly, and we guarantee complete confidentiality,” said Anthony Amore, the Museum’s Security Director. “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.”

In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, a pair of thieves disguised as Boston police officers entered the Gardner Museum and left with 13 works of art including Vermeer’s painting, The Concert, Rembrandt’s Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee and A Lady and Gentleman in Black, Manet’s Chez Tortoni, and Edgar Degas’ Leaving the Paddock.

It remains the largest art heist in history with more than $500 million of artwork taken from the Museum. The Concert, one of only 36 paintings by Vermeer, and Rembrandt’s Storm, his only known seascape, are considered amongst the most valuable stolen objects in the world.

“Typically stolen masterpieces are either recovered soon after a theft or a generation later,” Amore said. “We remain optimistic that these works will ultimately be recovered.”

Anyone with information should contact Anthony Amore by calling (617) 278-5114 or emailing theft@gardnermuseum. org.

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