Art theft is an intriguing crime that has occurred throughout history. Some of the most well-known paintings at some point in their residence at museums, galleries or private residences have either been attempted to be stolen, or in fact successfully stolen.
The painting "The Concert" by Johannes Vermeer (the creator of the famous "Girl with a Pearl Earring" painting) is one of the most famous stolen artworks in history. It was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1990, along with 12 other paintings, including works by Rembrandt, Manet and Degas. To this day, none of the artworks have been recovered, and the empty frames still hang in the museum as a sign of hope, waiting for their eventual return.
The theft of this specific painting was a brazen and well calculated heist, in which thieves dressed as police officers to gain access to the museum in the early hours of March 18, 1990. They overpowered the museum guards, tied them up and cut the paintings from their frames, then simply walked out the doors with 13 historical artworks, and fled the scene.
The FBI has been investigating the case for over three decades and has offered a reward of $10 million for information leading to the recovery of the stolen artworks, including "The Concert." However, despite numerous leads, suspects and tips over the years, the case remains unsolved and the painting's whereabouts remain unknown.
Many experts believe that "The Concert" is still in the hands of the thieves or their associates, who are waiting for a better opportunity to sell it on the black market. However, some also speculate that the painting may have been destroyed or lost over the years due to mishandling or neglect. It is thrilling to imaging there could be an attic somewhere out there, that houses 13 priceless works of art!
The black market for paintings and art is typically secretive and difficult to track, meaning, we may never know where “The Concert” really lives or who has it in their possession.
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