Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Stolen Art Watch, Whe...n there's... Warmth in our Heart's, Coz he's Recovered the Gardner Art..., That's Amore !!

The Gardner Museum’s new security chief knows the value of shoe leather in solving crimes.

As assistant federal security director for screening at Logan International Airport after 9/11, he ran the show when shoe bomber Richard Reid was collared in December 2001.

“I’ll never forget that day,” said Anthony M. Amore, the museum’s top art sleuth. “I was sitting down to watch the Patriots [team stats] play the Dolphins - it was a big game at the time - and I got a call saying some lunatic was trying to light a shoelace on fire on an airplane.

“I thought it was going to be a 20-minute trip to the airport and it turns out I was there for the next 20-plus hours, ending with the arrest of Richard Reid and being on the line with the White House situation room.

“It gave me a great sense of not approaching any kind of incident in a lackadaisical fashion. It’s the mindset I bring to this job at the museum.”

A 41-year-old Rhode Island native, Amore moved to Massachusetts in 1995 and lives in Swampscott. He has two children.

His resume reads like he should be a candidate for Homeland Security director. Stints in crucial security jobs at the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Transportation Security Administration and, before arriving at the Gardner, the post of assistant federal security director for screening at Logan just after 9/11.

There he oversaw the urgent implementation of federalized baggage screening for the airport after it was rocked by the terrorist attacks on New York that started with hijackings of two American Airlines [AMR] planes from Logan.

The work was grinding, he said, but the motivation to make Logan safe was fierce across the entire workforce there, and he found the effort inspiring and rewarding.

Still, after more than four years of nervewracking airport security work he wanted a change, and he sought out the Gardner job, which he took in March 2006.

“I felt our mission was complete at Logan,” he said. “I needed a change. And when I was interviewed here it was not in an office but near this beautiful courtyard.

“I always knew about the Gardner, knew about the theft, and knew it was an amazing place. So after 14 years in an airport environment, to see this breathtaking place that still takes your breath every time you look at it, I knew this is where I might want to go for a change of pace.”

A modest, easygoing man who persistently insists he counts on teamwork and the brainpower of “smarter people” to solve problems, Amore set about resecuring the museum. But he couldn’t resist immersing himself in the crime that rocked the Gardner in 1990.

“I didn’t anticipate I’d be drawn into the theft investigation as much as I am,” he said. “Securing the museum, the property, the visitors is definitely ‘Job 1’ and always will be, but the case is like a second job to me now.”

Amore has a strong rapport with the FBI agents on the case, and says the Feds and the Gardner are on the same page when it comes to making recovery of the art a priority. He has forged stong ties with his bureau counterparts, particularly Special Agent Geoffrey J. Kelly. But he knows too that he must work alone sometimes because many tipsters want to avoid official government entanglements.

“I am certain of their dedication to seeing the paintings returned to their rightful place,” he said of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston. “They have all shown and extraordinary willingness to help us recover our artwork.”

Amore has a master’s in public administration from Harvard’s JFK School of Government. He was nominated in 2002 and 2003 he was nominated for the Service to American Award.

Amore has absorbed much about art in the past two years, much as he learned everything possible about airport security while working at Logan.

“It’s not lost on me that I had worked at the airport from which the worst terrorist attack against the U.S. was launched, and I now work at the museum at which the largest property theft and art theft in history was committed,” he said.

Contact Amore by e-mail at or by phone at 617-278-5114.

Art Hostage comments:

With Matinee idol looks, somewhere between Andy Garcia and Anthony LaPaglia, the Gardner Museum's very own Anthony Amore strides across the art loss world like a colossus.

His quiet demeanor allows him access to the most sensitive material regarding the Gardner art Heist and his pragmatism is just the thing that will see Anthony Amore at the centre of the Gardner art recovery.

Anthony Amore, is a man who walks through fire over broken glass to recover the elusive Gardner art, that's the official Art Hostage opinion, why ??

I dare you not to smile and feel warm inside when you click the link below:


Anonymous said...

Amore is, in fact, a huge Dean Martin fan...

Art Hostage said...

If Dean Martin were alive, I'm sure he would be a big Anthony Amore fan !!

Anonymous said...

Amore is a good kid and an even better earner