Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Fraud Goes Right To The Core, Fake Investigation, Fake Reward, Fake Immunity

Man guilty in Gardner painting fraud scam sentenced

A West Virginia man who pleaded guilty to a wire fraud scam purporting to sell paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was sentenced yesterday.
Todd Andrew Desper was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to time served and three years of supervised release, three months of which will be spent in home confinement, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division.
Desper’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to an email.
Prosecutors said Desper, acting under the pseudonym “Mordokwan,” solicited foreign buyers on Craigslist for Rembrandt’s “Storm on the Sea of Galilee” and Vermeer’s “The Concert,” two paintings he claimed were among 13 stolen from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990.
According to prosecutors, the security director for the Gardner Museum engaged in encrypted communications with Desper in an attempt to determine whether he had access to the stolen masterpieces. During the email exchange, Desper instructed the security director to send a cashier’s check for $5 million to a location in West Virginia. In return, “Storm on the Sea of Galilee” would then be sent, concealed behind another painting.
Investigators were ultimately able to determine that Desper had no access to the artwork, or any information about the notorious heist, but was instead engaged in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme targeting foreign art buyers.

Desper pleaded guilty to wire fraud in February.
The FBI has said two suspects who masqueraded as police officers to rob the museum of $500 million worth of masterpieces are dead.
Federal authorities were notified of the foreign Craigslist notices by individuals seeking to assist in the recovery of the artwork, as well as those seeking the multi-million dollar reward offered by the museum.
Why No Gardner Art Recovery
Making public an unsubstantiated narrative that the Gardner Heist was by local Boston criminal gangs was somehow supposed to help get the art back, but what's left of these gangs are less inclined to cooperate with authorities for a shot at the reward than ever.

These Boston gang leftovers, along with anyone who could help recover the Gardner art do not, and have never, believed the offers of Immunity and Reward and both were designed to decieve.

Anyone who has stepped forward and tried to negociate a Gardner art recovery has been hounded, jailed and their life destroyed, whether deserved or not by their criminal lifestyle.

Everytime someone stepped forward they were led like Lambs to the slaughter, told there is only one deal, give up everything they know to authorities, be prepared to testify against those involved in the Gardner case and just hope and pray the Gardner Museum takes pity and decides to give a nominal reward, never millions of dollars as claimed.

What incentive does that give anyone who could really provide a Gardner art recovery?
The Immunity and reward offers have never been scrutinised and no journalist has dared to question the validity of either the Immunity or Reward offers.
Art Hostage Comments:
It matters not what Art Hostage believes about the validity of the Immunity and Reward offers in the Gardner Art Heist case. The people who need convincing are those who hold or know the location of the Gardner art.
Until these people feel confident they can hand back the stolen Gardner art, collect the reward and not face scrutiny of authorities, the only Gardner recovery effort in town is one of seeking an informant to give a location of the Gardner art.
That has not worked for twenty eights years and counting.
I wish the Gardner Museum and authorities would just state clearly they will not allow the Gardner art to be handed back, reward paid in full, and no scrutiny of those handing back the Gardner art.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Case, One Narrative, One Offer, Only Informants Wanted

Amore to speak about Gardner Museum heist in Hingham

How the theft was carried out and where the painting might possibly be at this moment will be a few of the topics covered when Anthony Amore visits the Hingham Community Center on Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.
The world-acclaimed Gardner Museum in Boston is unique. With most world-class art museums people flock to stare at historic paintings by master artists. But at the Gardner Museum a good number of ticket-buyers come to stare at empty frames... and a slice of New England folklore.
In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, a pair of thieves disguised as police officers entered the Gardner Museum and stole 13 works of art by world-renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet, and Degas. The works, including Rembrandt’s Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee and Vermeer’s The Concert, are worth more than $500 million. This remains the biggest unsolved art theft in world history.
The Museum is offering a $10 million reward for information leading to the recovery of the stolen works. It’s important to note the reward is for recovering the paintings, not the apprehension of the thieves. This is also the priority of Anthony Amore, Security Director for the Gardner Museum.
“Speaking for the museum, we just want our paintings back,” Amore said in a recent interview with Boston magazine. “I would work as hard as can you can imagine to make sure that the people who come forward, that their names are never exposed. We have methods to do that, to pay the reward, so the person who gets it isn’t named publicly.”
How the theft was carried out and where the painting might possibly be at this moment will be a few of the topics covered when Anthony Amore visits the Hingham Community Center on Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Twenty-eight years after the artwork was stolen, the museum’s security chief thinks he knows who did it. What has him stumped is where the paintings are now. “The idea of a professional art thief, a cat burglar who goes and steals masterpieces, is fiction,” said Amore. “It has nothing to do with people who want art for their collection. It’s people stealing these things for money.”
In 2011, Amore spun off his historic art-crime research into his book Stealing Rembrandts, co-authored with journalist Tom Mashberg. Hardly any thieves who steal a masterpiece ever do it again, Amore says, because they quickly discover they’re stuck with it. “If you steal hugely recognizable art, you can’t fence it,” Amore says. “One small piece of information could end this tomorrow.”
Despite some promising leads in the past, the Gardner theft of 1990 remains unsolved. The Museum, the FBI, and the US Attorney’s office are still seeking viable leads that could result in safe return of the art. Any little bit of information can help. “I’m not looking for someone necessarily to call me and say, ‘Go to Locker 3 in this storage facility,’” Amore said in his interview. “It’s like you put this puzzle together, you start with the borders, and people are giving you pieces.
“If you do puzzles, most of the time, there’s this one piece that’s just like, now it’s all falling together,” he adds. “So I’m not necessarily looking for the big aha! moment. I’m looking for the small aha!moments that I can piece together.”
Tickets to hear Anthony Amore speak at the Hingham Community Center are now on sale at $10 and are available online at, by phone at 781-749-9786, and at the Hingham Community Center at 70 South Street in Hingham.