Washington: Twenty-three years after two men disguised as police officers gained access to a prestigious Boston museum and stole 30 rare arts projects valued at up to USD 500 million, the FBI today said it has new information about one of the longest-running crime mysteries.
"Today, we are pleased to announce that the FBI has made significant investigative progress in the search for the stolen art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum," said Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI`s Boston office.
"We`ve determined in the years after the theft that the art was transported to the Connecticut and Philadelphia regions. But we haven`t identified where the art is right now, and that`s why we are asking the public for help," DesLauriers told reporters.
There`s a USD five million reward in the case. The theft happened when two people posing as police officers fooled security guards into believing they were there for a legitimate reason before locking the guards in the museum`s basement and making off with the stolen objects on March 18, 1990, according to FBI Special Agent Geoff Kelly.
"With these considerable developments in the probe over the last couple of years... It`s likely over time someone has seen the art hanging on a wall, placed above a mantel, or stored in an attic. We want that person to call the FBI," said Kelly, who heads the FBI investigation in the case.
Anthony Amore, the Gardner Museum`s chief of security, explained that the museum is offering a USD five million reward "for information that leads directly to the recovery of all of our items in good condition."
"The recovery of the paintings will mark the close of a 23-year FBI investigation," DesLauriers said.
"The successful return of the paintings to the Gardner Museum would be the final chapter in one of the most significant art theft cases in the FBI`s history. And it is a result we would all welcome-seeing these paintings returned to their rightful home," he said.