Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, FBI Agent Geoff Kelly Reveals, Gardner Case, Not An Inch, No Deals, No Reward,

Kelly's Heroes

The Duxbury Free Library begins the New Year with an old unsolved crime. At 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8, the Sunday Salon Series will present FBI Special Agent Geoff Kelly, who will discuss the infamous art heist from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. In March of 1990, 13 priceless works, including art by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Degas, were stolen from the museum. Twenty-two years later the art has not surfaced. Agent Kelly will share information about the heist and appeal to the public for information.

“The theft captured the public’s imagination because it was daring,” Kelly said. “But in the end, it’s still a theft, and the criminals need to be held accountable.”

To reserve your ticket, call the library now, at 781-934-2721, ext. 108.

Read more: Sunday Salon Series - Duxbury, MA - Wicked Local Duxbury

Art Hostage Comments:
Finally, Geoff Kelly reveals how the FBI want those who have information about the Gardner heist and subsequent handling of the art "held accountable"

Meaning, anyone who can provide information about the whereabouts of the Gardner art must be forthcoming and provide everything they know abut those who handle the Gardner art and also, vitally, must be prepared to testify to that extent to a Grand Jury and Trial jury.

Furthermore they will loose their fifth amendment rights and have the FBI comb all over their life so to check if there is any criminality lurking in the background that could be used against them at a further date.

Turning to the alleged reward offer of $5 million for the recovery of ALL the Gardner art IN GOOD CONDITION.

The offer speaks for itself, "all the Gardner art in good condition" subjective at best, dishonest at worse. We all know the Gardner art was ripped from their frames therefore some damage occurred at the time of the theft, let alone the intervening years being stored within the depths of the Underworld. A get-out clause for the Gardner Museum.

Notice anytime the reward offer is made in public the words "all of the Gardner art in good condition" are stated very clearly !!

Another consideration for anyone with information about the Gardner art whereabouts, there is no way on earth the Gardner Museum would pay one single dime without express approval of the FBI and the FBI will never approve any payment for the Gardner art without bodies, arrests and convictions.

Truth is the same as back in 1990, the Gardner art is stolen property and anyone with information is required to reveal all or face charges of withholding information and obstructing justice.

Any reward is subject to the discretion of the Gardner Museum and is non-negotiable.

Upon another note, it is alleged Whitey Bulger and Mark Rossetti have been offering their own insight into the Gardner case and this had led to the raiding of Anthony "Chucky" Carlo, plus ongoing inquiry's.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Heist, Flip The Investigation To Recover The Art

"Frank and Jamie", installation/sculpture, 2002, by Maurizio Cattelan.

A new icon of subversion.
This sculpture is both an inverted image of power and a statement about the seduction of authority.

Over 20 years later, still pained by void where work of art should hang

TO THOSE who have the painting:

March 18, 1990, more than 20 years ago, my heart cried out: “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee’’ had been stolen along with a number of other valuable pieces of art. Twenty years later, my heart still cries out.

I had been fortunate. I had gazed upon the painting and pondered its meaning. Rembrandt urges us to consider taking a stormy sail with the apostles and Christ upon the sea of life. Rembrandt himself, who is believed to have depicted his image gazing out to us from the ship, invites us on board. The artist represents us, humanity with Christ.

After the heist, when I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, I saw the blank spot and cried. My son and daughter, having never seen the painting, will never be blessed with the experience that only the original can provide. Countless others are being deprived of Rembrandt’s wish to inspire us.

Twenty years. It has been long enough. To those who have the painting, I say: Be good and return the piece; the world needs it. You will be forgiven; it is Christmastime. No questions asked. You have had this artwork long enough. Just send it.

P. Nelson

The Honorable Charles Vincent Sabba Reflects On The Gardner Art Heist Recovery Process

Gardner Bullets I: An Introduction

"Killer Bee"; 2006; 45 Cal target round, acrylic paint and fabric wings; by Charles Sabba.

Gardner Bullets II: Concealing and Receiving

It is a ten-year felony to conceal or receive any of the stolen Gardner Museum artworks:

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum door that the thieves entered on Palace Road on 18 March 1990.

United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen M. Ortiz.

Gardner Bullets III: Is an offer of immunity on the table?

Portrait of a stool Pigeon; oil on canvas; by Charles Sabba.

Check out "The Wire" over on "Your Brush With The Law" for the Charles Vincent Sabba Art Crime lectures, news, interviews and video's relating to art crime and the Gardner Art Heist:

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Stranded In FBI/Underworld Struggle

From the mouths of criminals

The FBI’s cynical embrace of Mark Rossetti, a reputed killer and Mafia leader used as an informant, is reminiscent of the Whitey Bulger scandal, in which the nation’s premier law enforcement agency let a gangster eliminate his competition while he whispered sweet nothings in its ear.

But if a former Wakefield man sitting in a prison in Florida is telling the truth, the Rossetti case could be history repeating itself in a different way when it comes to putting people on ice to keep a sordid FBI deal from becoming public. From his prison cell, Michael Romano says he is preparing to sue the FBI and the Justice Department for framing him in an elaborate scheme to protect informant Rossetti. Romano says the FBI’s determination to protect Rossetti not only landed him in prison, but it also got his son and namesake, Michael Romano Jr., killed in 1994. It is an outlandish tale. And maybe the most outlandish part is that some or all of it could be true.

Mike Romano is no choirboy. And he admits he was trying to find out who killed his son, Mikey. He says that just when he was getting close to figuring out who did it, the FBI and Justice Department swooped in to take him and a faction opposed to then-Mafia boss Frank Salemme off the street. Romano says, and many in law enforcement agree, that Mark Rossetti was aligned with the Salemme group, which Romano believes was responsible for his son’s death. The FBI let Rossetti and his associates shoot and kill with impunity, Romano contends. “All we did was try to protect ourselves,’’ Romano said.

But the government says Romano was part of a crew that went gunning for the Salemme crowd. That crowd would have included Rossetti, the FBI’s prized snitch. Facing charges that could have landed him in prison for the rest of his life, Romano pleaded guilty in 1999 to charges that included plotting to kill Salemme. He is scheduled to be released in 2016.

The FBI did not respond yesterday to Romano’s statements.

Romano says a key witness against him - now retired FBI agent Michael Buckley, who was Rossetti’s handler - was acting to protect Rossetti, not the public interest, when the government accused Romano of offering $15,000 to anyone who took out Salemme. “This is the Teddy Deegan case all over again,’’ said Romano. That case cost taxpayers more than $100 million, paid to four men, two of them senior members of the Mafia, who served more than 30 years in prison after the FBI framed them for the murder of smalltime hoodlum Teddy Deegan. Those men were framed to protect an FBI informant. Romano says he is going to ask for $50 million.

Now, some people will ask, why believe a convicted criminal sitting in prison who has an ax to grind against those who put him there? That’s a fair question. But the true extent of the Bulger scandal was not exposed until career criminals and killers started talking: Stevie Flemmi, Kevin Weeks, John Martorano. They literally knew where the bodies were buried.

The only way we figure out the truth is to bring Mike Romano’s charges into the light. So far, there has been nothing from the FBI or Justice Department explaining why Rossetti was maintained as an informant for decades until the Massachusetts State Police arrested him last year or why an FBI supervisor lied when asked by State Police if Rossetti was their informant.

US Representative Stephen Lynch recently met with the FBI along with staff from the offices of Representatives Darrell Issa and Elijah Cummings, the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Senator Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. The FBI said it was conducting an internal inquiry and promised a follow-up meeting. If prosecutors won’t hear Mike Romano out, there are congressional investigators who are willing to listen.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, French Art Heist Trial

3:30 After a deliberate, the court went below the requisitions of the Advocate General (3 to 15 years in prison)

The five men who recognized the flight in August 2007 four old master paintings
the Museum of Fine Arts in Nice were sentenced by the Assize Court
Bouches-du-Rhône to terms ranging from two to nine years in prison.


All videos

Fifth and final day of trial verdict: Two to nine years in prison:

The five men who recognized the flight in August 2007 four old master paintings
the Museum of Fine Arts in Nice were sentenced by the Assize Court
Bouches-du-Rhône to terms ranging from two to nine years in prison.
3:30 After a deliberate, the court, presided by Jean-Luc Tournier, went below the requisitions of the General Counsel, Marc taste, which had required three to fifteen years in prison.

Pierre-Noël Dumarais, 64, described as the organizer of the operation, was sentenced to the maximum sentence.
His "co-pilot", 59, Patrick Chelelekian, was given a sentence of eight years imprisonment. He is alleged to have triggered the case by order status of tables by U.S. buyers, which he had heard from an acquaintance, Bernard Ternus, currently detained in Miami.
Their accomplices, who appeared free, were sentenced to four years in prison for Lionel Ritter, described as "the perfect henchman" to three years to Patrice Lhomme, "at the forefront of the negotiations," according to the General Counsel , and two years for Moullec Gregory, the only one not to return to detention.

Monday to trial for armed robbery by organized gangs and criminal conspiracy, the defendants acknowledged at the hearing, having stolen Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007 1:02 p.m. to Bruegel, a Monet and a Sisley Jules Cheret museum, while denying being armed, unlike the testimony of employees.

Fourth day of the trial: 3 to 15 years in prison required:

Sentences ranging from three to fifteen years in prison were required.

Against Pierre-Noël Dumarais, 64, the man who organized the operation, the General Counsel Marc Gouton demanded the maximum sentence.
Against his "co-pilot", 59, Patrick Chelelekian he asked twelve years in prison, accusing him of having caused the case reports of unecommande of paintings by American buyers, which he had heard from an acquaintance, Bernard Ternus, currently detained in Miami.

Three to eight years in prison were required against their accomplices: Patrice Lhomme, "at the forefront of the negotiations," Ritter Lionel, described as "the perfect henchman", and Gregory Moullec, "the last wheel of the coach ".

Third day of the trial: a hunt worthy of Hollywood:
Undercover agents, FBI, fake drug traffickers, go on a yacht in Miami with girls in bikinis ... Investigators have released all the stops to track down and bring down the perpetrators of the theft of paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts in Nice August 5, 2007, according to their story sitting at Aix.
If the French police had been on the trail of a conspiracy is an FBI intelligence that has truly advance the investigations beginning in January 2008.
"A thief offered them four tables that could correspond to the tables Chéret Museum" at the bar tells Lt. Catherine yellowish at the time the group leader at the Central Office for fight against trafficking in cultural property (OCBC) who coordinated the investigation.
The contact was established by the American agent Robert Wittman ("Bob") as part of an operation to recover stolen works of Gardner Museum in Boston in March 1990, including a Vermeer and Rembrandt.
To set the terms of the transaction, appointment is made ​​in Barcelona in January 2008 between the robbers and false buyers, namely "Bob" and agents of Miami playing the role of Colombian narco-traffickers.
"We go to a luxury hotel, we rented a suite, I met Bob, who was accompanied by the Colombians, two in the face sinister, like Scarface," he told one of the accused, Patrick Chelelekian.
"They put me in front of the air, I later learned that a camera was hidden there," he said, before launching: "Every day, I'm working, it is indigestible, j can 't understand how I could be led by the nose from beginning to end. "
From this date, "all picked up," says Ms. Yellowish. One of the accomplices Chelelekian, Patrice Lhomme, hand in Miami in April of that year to meet again the false buyers.

An interview on a yacht with girls in bikinis, "which raises many fantasies," joked the president of the court, Jean-Luc Tournier, in reference to the Hollywood version of the case book that Robert Wittman in "Priceless" ( published in April 2011 Sonatine Editions).
Faced with criminals "extremely cautious" - "they made ​​several rounds of the roundabout to be sure of not being followed, stopped at an intersection unexpectedly, gave themselves go to the parking" - the OCBC is "a French request for infiltration."
This engages the agent "Bernie" who, posing as the Swiss financial Colombians, sets the decisive meeting of 4 June 2008 on the Corniche in Marseille
where the protagonists will be stopped and retrieved the file Bruegel, Monet and Sisley stolen in Nice.
Marc Ferrarone, Deputy Service interdepartmental technical assistance (SIAT) authorized to make such missions, took up the side "extremely professional" of the accused, far from the image of non-violent fans they are trying to return from the start of the trial.
Asked about the presence on it of a grenade and a gun the day of his arrest, Pierre-Noël Dumarais, presented as the gang leader, was justified: "I 'd go with narco- Colombian traffickers, they do not have a reputation for being soft! The pomegranate is a deterrent, little atomic bomb to me. "

Second day of the trial: Safety of the Museum of Fine Arts in question:
An investigator has expressed his surprise to the faults of the security of the Museum of Fine Arts in Nice. "It was fairly surprised by the lack of supervision", or alarm or camera inside, "and the limited number of staff" for a museum of this size, said at the helm Daniel Schuler, Police Commander the CSI of Nice, in charge of the spot investigation.
"The paintings were hung on the wall in a rudimentary way," he added, noting "a mismatch between the means employed and the value of the tables".

In this museum located in the hills above Nice, it took less than five minutes to robbers to steal, August 5, 2007, two oil on canvas signed Jan Bruegel, "Allegory of Water" and "Allegory of Earth" properties in the city of Nice, and two works from the Musée d'Orsay, "Cliffs near Dieppe" by Claude Monet and "Alley of Poplars at Moret" by Alfred Sisley.
"Surprisingly," the policeman, the last two paintings were not subject to any scrutiny, as they had been stolen in September 1998, in the same premises. To these facts, the then Conservative had been sentenced.
That having heard of this case that Pierre-Noël Dumarais, the organizer of the operation, had set his sights on the tables in particular.

For employees, the investigations revealed a dilettante atmosphere: one of the guards "smoked the carpet" in the words of an accused knowledgeable, and "was accustomed to be delivered personal consumption at the Museum" another had called in sick for "spending the day at pool."
"The staff was not very successful," summarized the President of the Assize Court, Jean-Luc Tournier.

For Me Adrien Verrier, lawyer for the city of Nice has a civil party, "the museum met the safety standards in force", even if the device "has been considerably improved since."
Trial for armed robbery by organized gangs and criminal conspiracy, the five defendants are liable to 30 years in prison to life imprisonment.

First day of the trial: Defendants say they have been manipulated by the FBI:

The authors of the theft of four paintings by the master at the Museum of Fine Arts in Nice in August 2007, held the first day of their trial in Aix-en-Provence, to return the image of non-violent criminals, fallen into a trap the FBI.

Behind the glass of the dock, Pierre-Noël Dumarais, 64, organizer of the operation, immediately sought to minimize his criminal record, heavy eight convictions between 1971 and 1994. "He has 20 years, the criminal, it is almost obsolete,"
smiled the sixties, called "The Nice", groomed and graying hair.
"Opportunistic, but quite right, respectful of human life," he says of himself, when the President of the Assize Court of the Bouches-du-Rhône, Jean-Luc Tournier, asks him to describe.
"That's why I wanted to prepare myself theft of Nice, to avoid collateral damage," said he. Like his accomplices, he denies being armed, despite statements by Jules Cheret museum staff.
"The Nice", holds a degree in law obtained in custody, has not worked in his life (just over one year), preferring to "pick up the tickets in the trees," but "without violence and without a weapon" , he insists, seemingly forgotten in passing the robbery of a bank.
"I was so little armed the bank was not a civil party," he replies to the president, "have a weapon, it is not necessarily use it."
And conclude with aplomb: "I would not be here if I had not been spurred on by the FBI to steal the paintings" in the Sunday, August 5: Two Bruegel, a Monet and Sisley, estimated at 20 million euros.
A view shared by his partner, Patrick Chelelekian, also called "The Armenian" met "on golf ball and Sanary Bandol" (Var).
Time hairdresser for women, then manager of a hotel near Paris, this 59 year old man, imprisoned in Toulon, had been involved before the fact in cases involving narcotics. Former "cocaine addict", he describes himself as "non violent" with "horror of blood and brutality," and said "sorry for being caught up" in this venture, says investigator personality.

To his lawyer, Lionel Moroni, "the flight was caused inadvertently by the FBI" which launched the bids to try to recover stolen works of Gardner Museum in Boston in March 1990, including a Vermeer and Rembrandt.
At the heart of the matter, the famous American agent Robert Wittman, specializing in the trafficking of art, which delivers a fictionalized account of the case in "Priceless" (published in April 2011 Sonatine Editions), a pad of 400 pages who exposed himself Monday on tables in the courtroom. He was summoned by Mr. Moroni, but is unlikely to be heard.
Another notable absentee, the man who put him in touch with the French criminals FBI undercover agent to monetize the tables: Bernard Ternus, from Bandol and based in Miami since 2007.
It was during the final transaction, the five thieves will be arrested and works recovered, 4 June 2008 in Marseille and its region, shortly before the arrest of Ternus Florida.
Sentenced in September 2008 in the United States five years and two months in prison for his participation in the negotiation, it is held in Miami. Prosecuted for complicity in the theft and criminal conspiracy, it is not present at trial, his case is the subject of an order of severance.

The three other defendants, Patrice Lhomme, 46, Moullec Gregory, 41, and Lionel Ritter, 39, who appear free, are presented as "simple handlers."


Behind the glass of the dock, Pierre-Noël Dumarais, 64, and Patrick Chelelekian, 59, presented as the organizers of the operation. Their accomplices, Patrice Lhomme, 46, Moullec Gregory, 41, and Lionel Ritter, 39, appear free.

On Sunday, August 5, to 13 hours, the five men come to the museum entrance Jules Cheret, neutralize the guards and go with four priceless paintings: two oil on wood signed Jan Bruegel, Bruegel says "Velvet "(1568-1625)," Allegory of Water "and" Allegory of Earth ", property of the city of Nice, and two paintings from the Musée d'Orsay," Cliffs near Dieppe "by Claude Monet ( 1840-1926), and "Avenue of Poplars at Moret" by Alfred Sisley (1839-1899).
In all, the operation of the robbers, carried with ease, is complete in five minutes.

At the beginning of the case, sixth man, Bernard Ternus, from Bandol (Var) and moved to Miami since 2007. It was he who reported that U.S. buyers were interested in old master paintings.
In fact, it was the FBI - including the famous agent Robert Wittman to book an account of the affair in "Priceless" (published in April 2011 Sonatine Editions) - and trying to recover stolen works to the museum Gardner Boston in March 1990, including a Vermeer and Rembrandt.

Once the paintings stolen from Nice, Ternus intervenes to sell at a price of three million euros. It was during the final transaction that his accomplices were arrested and recovered the paintings, 4 June 2008 in Marseille and its region. Ternus was arrested in the wake of Florida.
Sentenced in September 2008 in the United States five years and two months in prison for his participation in the negotiation, he is currently detained at the prison in Miami and is not present in Aix-en-Provence.

Prosecuted for complicity in the theft and criminal conspiracy, his case is subject to an order of severance.
Verdict expected Friday.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Robert Wittman Vindicated As Court Convicts Art Heist Gang

French court convicts art thieves stung by FBI

AIX-EN-PROVENCE - A French court on Friday convicted five men arrested in an FBI sting after stealing paintings by Monet, Sisley and Brueghel and sentenced them to between two and nine years in prison.

The thieves, who pulled off the brazen heist in 2007 at the Musee des Beaux-Arts Jules Cheret in Nice, had claimed they were enticed by the FBI to commit the crime.

Judge Jean-Luc Tournier sentenced the ringleader of the operation, 64-year-old Pierre-Noel Dumarais, to nine years in prison and his chief co-conspirator, 59-year-old Patrick Chelelekian, to eight years.

Their three accomplices were sentenced to two, three and four years in prison.

Prosecutor Marc Gouton had urged the court to ignore their claim of having been entrapped, saying: "At no time were their hands being held when they planned or committed the hold-up or when they negotiated the sale of the paintings."

The suspects' lawyers had alleged that Robert Wittman, the FBI's chief art crimes investigator, had effectively ordered the heist to infiltrate European art crime gangs.

The works, valued at 20 million euros ($27 million), were seized in a raid that saw the thieves threaten staff, stuff the paintings into bags and escape in under five minutes.

The five admitted at the trial in southern France to having carried out the robbery but denied accusations from museum staff that they were armed.

The paintings - "Cliffs Near Dieppe" by Claude Monet; "The Lane of Poplars at Moret" by Alfred Sisley; and "Allegory of Water" and "Allegory of Earth" by Jan Brueghel the Elder - were recovered in a sting organized by the FBI and French police in June 2008.

The paintings were stolen on the orders of a French citizen living in Florida, Bernard Jean Ternus, who pleaded guilty in a US court in 2008 to conspiring to sell the art works. He was sentenced to five years and two months in prison.

Ternus told the thieves he had buyers lined up to pay three million euros for the paintings, which because of their fame would have been difficult to unload on the black market.

Ternus arranged for the thieves to meet the buyers in the southern French port city of Marseille but was unaware that he had been dealing with undercover French police and FBI agents reportedly working for Wittman.

The five were arrested after finalizing the deal and Ternus was detained in Florida.