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Johannes Vermeer, The Concert (c. 1664), stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990
Johannes Vermeer, The Concert (ca. 1664), stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990

GARDNER HEIST FIGURE FACES NEW CHARGES

Apr. 10, 2012

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Convicted felon Robert Gentile, a man the U.S. attorney’s office believes has information on the legendary, still unsolved Isabella Stanley Gardner Museum heist, has a new set of problems on his hands. A “veritable arsenal” of weapons has been found in his Connecticut home, the Hartford Courant reports. It could add up to 10 years onto the 20 years he already faces for a variety of other charges.

Gentile’s lawyer, A. Ryan McGuigan, repeated his client’s longstanding claim that he knows nothing about who took the 13 works by Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet from the museum in 1990. The missing stash, estimated to be worth about $500 million, includes Rembrandt’s Storm on the Sea of Galilee and Vermeer’s The Concert. According to the paper, “Associates believe that if Gentile had even the faintest idea of the location of the paintings, he would have tried to trade it for the $5 million reward [offered by the museum] years ago.”

Yet officials continue to believe that Gentile has ties to a Boston mob suspected of dressing up that night as police officers, convincing the guards to let them in, peeling works from their frames for 90 minutes and then driving off with the loot. It’s been reported that an FBI informant has linked Gentile to the crime and at least one police uniform was found in his home.

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