Inside the national gallery of stolen art

Renovations To Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Photo by Keith Bedford / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Shortly after midnight on March 18th, 1990, security guard Rick Abath allowed two men dressed as police officers to enter the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. This decision may have been “the most costly mistake in art history,” according to The Boston Globe. The men stole 13 artworks worth more than $500 million and left Abath handcuffed in the basement.

The mystery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist has never been solved. Today, the pilfered works are part of the National Stolen Art File, a database of looted treasures curated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The 23 agents in charge of this effort are part of the FBI’s art crime team. Created in 2004, the team’s mandate is to track down and return stolen art….

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