The FBI said on Monday that it has identified the perpetrators of the largest art thievery in history — the 1990 robbery of 13 masterpieces, worth an estimated $500 million.
The heist of the paintings from the Gardner Museum in Boston was conducted by members of an East Coast “criminal organization,” FBI officials said at a press conference, according to the Boston Herald
FBI officials wouldn’t publically name the suspects so as to not to jeopardize the ongoing investigation, but asked for the public’s help in order to recover the paintings, which included works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas, and Manet.
United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz said at the press conference that the statute of limitations has run out so charges cannot be filed for the actual theft. However, Ortiz said that other charges are still possible, such as possession of stolen art work, NECN.com reported.
It was 23 years ago to the day, when two burglars dressed as police officers brazenly walked into the museum, bound two night guards with duct tape and handcuffs, before absconding with the paintings.
The thieves tried to fence the art several times after the robbery, first in Connecticut, then in the Philadelphia area, but were unable to unload the paintings, officials said at the press conference.
The gallery has offered a $5 million reward “for information leading directly to the recovery of all of our art in good condition.”
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