Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Heist, Anthony Amore Unplugged !!!!

The Gardner Theft: Twenty Years Later

Thursday, March 4, 2010
6:30 PM
Tapestry Room


Anthony Amore, Director of Security, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in conversation with Tom Ashbrook, host of National Public Radio's On Point

In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, thieves dressed as Boston police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and stole thirteen works of art. Twenty years later, the investigation to recover the missing paintings continues.

In a rare public program, Gardner Museum Director of Security Anthony Amore dispels some of the myths and misinformation by telling the real account of what happened on the night of the theft. New information on the museum’s progress to recover the works of art add to this dramatic ever-evolving story of loss and hopeful recovery.

Anthony Amore is the security director for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Prior to joining the museum in 2005, he spent 14 years with the federal government as a special agent with the Federal Aviation Administration and later joined the Department of Homeland Security. He spearheaded the efforts to federalize security at Logan International Airport after the attacks of September 11, 2001, and was the agency's lead responding agent to the attempted terrorist attack by the so-called "Shoe Bomber" that same year. He is currently investigating the theft of 13 priceless works of art stolen from the Gardner Museum in 1990.

Tom Ashbrook, host of National Public Radio’s On Point, is an award-winning journalist whose career spans twenty years as a foreign correspondent, newspaper editor, and author. He spent ten years in Asia starting at the South China Morning Post and later as a correspondent for The Boston Globe. He began his reporting career covering the refugee exodus from Vietnam and the post-Mao opening of China, and has covered turmoil and shifting cultural and economic trends in the United States and around the world. At the Globe, where he served as deputy managing editor until 1996, he directed coverage of the first Gulf War and the end of the Cold War. Ashbrook received the Livingston Prize for National Reporting and was a 1996 fellow at Harvard’s Nieman Foundation.

This event is sold out. Please contact the Gardner Box Office at 617 278 5156 or online to purchase tickets for other concerts and events.

Related programming:
Join us on Thursday, March 11 for The Dutch Room: Absence and Desire, a Room Views conversation with Curator of Contemporary Art Pieranna Cavalchini and Artist-in-Residence Elaine Reichek.

Anyone with information about the theft, the location of the stolen artworks, or the investigation should contact Gardner Museum Director of Security Anthony Amore directly at 617 278 5114 or
The Museum is offering a reward of $5 million for information leading to the return of the stolen artworks in good condition. The Museum can ensure complete confidentiality.

Art Hostage Comments:

Anthony Amore, Man of Virtue, Morality and Honour, will be ready to answer all the awkward questions avoided over the years about the Gardner Art Heist.

Whilst this trip down memory, or should I say Nightmare lane is a useful educational exercise, it does not offer solutions to recovering the actual stolen art.

Unless of course Carmen Ortiz has told the FBI to step aside and allow a private recovery of the Gardner art without prosecutions.

The much maligned FBI in Boston have to be seen to be doing their job and they would like nothing better than to have the Gardner case taken from their jurisdiction and dealt with exclusively by Carmen Ortiz and Anthony Amore.

If Carmen Ortiz stands down the FBI and allows Anthony Amore to be very specific about the reward and issues an immunity agreement for giving Proof of Life, then the first hurdle will have been overcome.

Followed up by another immunity agreement for the actual recovery of the Gardner art. Once these things are in place then the recovery will happen.

Over to the Catholic Church Confession Box for the symbolic recovery of the Gardner art.

Followed by the Gardner Museum putting the Vermeer and co back on display.

However, when the Stolen Gardner Art, especially the Vermeer, goes back on display at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum , the crowds will stretch to the Canadian border and beyond.

Art Hostage predicts over 10 million people will jam the switchboard trying to book to see the Vermeer and co.

Come to think about it, how about Anthony Amore announces during the radio interview the reward is to double to $10 million to allow for inflation since 1997 when the reward was last increased from $1 million to the current $5 million. That would make certain people sit up and take notice and would send a clear message the time has come to bring home the Gardner art.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Heist, Kurkjian Knows !!!!

Steve Kurkjian Is Still Asking Tough Questions

By Tom Nash
Special to the Mirror-Spectator

BOSTON — In a Boston Globe piece reminiscing on his experience covering the Woodstock music festival, Steve Kurkjian recalled himself as a law student “with no clear direction for my future.”
The chaos surrounding the generation-defining event helped inspire Kurkjian to decide on journalism as a career. Three years later, he had his first of three Pulitzers, awarded for exposing corruption in Somerville.

Sitting with Kurkjian over lunch, we spent hours talking about how much had changed, and hadn’t changed, in 40 years.

In 2009, the corruption in Somerville is still there. The story of hundreds of thousands of dirty people listening to rock music as the world seemed on the brink of destruction has found its way into American history textbooks.

In 2009, journalism, a field in which Kurkjian is one of its most lauded practitioners, is nearly dead.

After nearly four decades at the Boston Globe, Kurkjian took a buyout from the paper in 2007. He’s reluctant to go into details, but it is widely known that after massive consolidation moves by papers across the country earlier in the decade, executives soon targeted their newsrooms.

But Kurkjian seems impervious to the idea that the skill-set he has spent a lifetime building would ever go out of fashion. Retirement for him has meant, in some ways, that he is busier than ever.

In the two years since taking a buyout from the Globe, Kurkjian lists a few of the projects he’s working on: authenticating an Armenian Genocide photo (“I’ve been working on it too long. Five years.”), exposing conflict-of-interest issues with Partners Health and helping take down House Speaker Sal DiMasi.

The investigative unit of the paper, known as the Spotlight Team, still relies heavily on both his ability to fit puzzle pieces of documents into a narrative and a reputation built on a fearsome ability of getting the story.

“People need this stuff, and I know how to do it,” Kurkjian explains. “People out there return my phone calls when I say ‘I’m Steve Kurkjian from the Globe.’ In both cases, the source said ‘I will only deal with you. I’m not going to give it to anybody else.’”

Around this time, Kurkjian also began teaching a class at Suffolk University on the decline of newspapers. In December 2008, when he agreed to teach the course, the thought of the Globe going under seemed impossible.

In April, the New York Times, the Globe’s owners, threatened to shut the paper down if it didn’t squeeze millions of dollars in concessions from its unions. The paper was on track to lose $85 million in 2009.

The class Kurkjian was teaching about papers everywhere else suddenly became about the paper no one thought could suffer the same fate as papers in Ann Arbor or Seattle.
“I’m telling (my students) why it won’t happen here, why the Globe is protected by its legacy within the community,” Kurkjian recalled. “I had no idea that the Globe was on the schedule of losing $85 million for the New York Times Company. Nothing is sacred in this business. It made it real to me as well as illuminating it to my class.”

The Globe emerged from the crisis, with the paper’s unions eventually giving way to the pressure from the Times. What followed was months of speculation about a probable sale, with the end of 2009 coming and the Times announcing it would hold on to the paper.

Most read that as the company being unwilling to part with a $1 billion investment for with what it’s now worth — almost nothing.

I ask Kurkjian where the sources he has cultivated are supposed to go if there’s no newspaper.

He sighs.

“My son became a sports reporter,” Kurkjian says, “There wasn’t enough money. Now he works for a website, and he’s doing better. I said, ‘Just keep in it, we’re gonna figure it out — a business model that makes it work. People are still going to aspire to get factual information told concisely.”

So Kurkjian will keep teaching the art of investigation. After all, he says, it holds practical value beyond exposing cover-ups. Everyone needs to know how to go to look up property records or find out what laws are on the books.

“It’s a very practical class. You can really use things that you know. The skill set we learn as reporters is immense in dealing with the outside world. Preparation is everything.”


On top of the busy reporting and teaching schedule Kurkjian keeps, he is now also a full-time grandfather. His grandson is perhaps the only thing he’s more excited to talk about than the investigative reporting class he hopes to teach again.

“What I hope to be able to do is get back to my retirement,” Kurkjian admits.

What Kurkjian means by retirement at this point is analyzing an Armenian Genocide photograph. He’s been working on it for five years, with historians ranging from Hilmar Kaiser to Vahakn Dadrian.

Also on the list is finishing a book about the Isabella Gardner Museum heist — a project that has been years in the making. He hints that he knows who did it, but is not willing yet to give away with any information.

He pauses for a second, as if realizing he doesn’t know what retirement really means, that most people don’t expose health insurance companies and politicians in their free time.

“It’s been a very busy one,” he concludes.

Art Hostage Comments:

If there is one person who has had access to all the FBI files about the Gardner Art Heist it is Steve Kurkjian. This means he has the ear of the FBI and has followed every move made by the FBI over the years.

Whilst knowing who robbed the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum may be good for the ego, it does not help recover the actual stolen art as Steve is all too well aware.

Steve Kurkjian is one of the most hard edged, raw, street savvy reporters in America today.

Even those who may not like Steve admire his ability.

Art Hostage admires the honesty of Geoff Kelly the FBI Agent in Boston who, amongst his many other duties, tracks leads on the Gardner Art Heist.

This quote from a recent interview sums up the current attitude towards recovering the stolen Gardner art from the FBI perspective:

  • For the past eight years, Special Agent Geoff Kelly in our Boston office has been the lead investigator on the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft, the largest property crime in U.S. history. The two men who robbed the museum gained access to the building dressed as police officers. Once inside, they overpowered security guards, tied them up with duct tape, and proceeded to steal 13 objects valued at $500 million. In addition to Degas sketches and Rembrandt works, they took a Vermeer painting that was one of only 35 in existence.
  • Leads come in on a weekly basis, and Kelly is confident that one day the case will be solved. “The theft captured the public’s imagination because it was daring,” he said. “But in the end, it’s still a theft, and the criminals need to be held accountable.”
Twenty years on and the FBI are sticking to their guns and demanding anyone associated with the stolen Gardner art be held accountable.

The full story can be seen here:

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Stolen Art Watch, Whitey Bulger and MI5, Gardner Art Anyone ????

Whitey Bulger, MI5, Billy Bulger, Patrick Nee,the FBI, Choose the Bad Guy !!!!!

So, there was Art Hostage having a nice lunch with a good old retired Brit Security Services Chief when the subject of Whitey Bulger came up.

Much of what was said was already known to Art Hostage, double cross, triple cross and back again, but the news it was going to be officially leaked in Boston came as a bit of a surprise.

Perhaps the timing of the 20 year commemoration of the Gardner Heist has something to do with it ????

Art Hostage has been briefed on the latest Gardner Heist state of play and has been asked to keep quiet and allow this latest attempt to play out.

Now guys, play nice and perhaps we can have at least some stolen Gardner artworks returned before March 18th 2010, or even on the day, or day before for maximum impact.

Catholic Church Confession Box is still the favourite recovery location for the stolen Gardner art, and now its official !!!!!

Art Hostage has faith in Anthony Amore and Carman Ortiz to pull this thing off, the Lawyer on the other side is playing hardball, and for good reason, not just the language barrier !!!!!!!!

So, remember when you hear or read about Whitey Bulger and MI5 act like you are surprised and not like you have seen it all before on Stolen Vermeer provided by Art Hostage.
Furthermore, more and more people are accepting Whitey Bulger has died, maybe Ireland, Art Hostage won't reveal where at this stage, but remember it was Art Hostage who first called this.
It is not so much Whitey Bulger who authorities want, it is the James "Whitey" Bulger diaries that authorities are afraid of.
They are still outstanding and the race is on to locate them. This is the real reason why authorities won't go public yet.

More to follow............................................