Showing posts with label Anthony Amore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anthony Amore. Show all posts

May 22, 2014

Fox 25 News (MyFoxBoston.com): "FBI talks exclusively to Bob Ward about Stolen Art" [The 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Unsolved Heist]; Compare it to what Ulrich Boser reported in his book in 2009

"FBI has confirmed sighting of Gardner artwork after heist" reports Bob Ward in a television segment on May 21 for Fox 25 News (MyBoston.com).
In his first TV interview, FBI Special Agent Geoff Kelly, the Bureau's leading investigator on the Gardner Case, tells FOX 25's Bob Ward the trail for the missing Gardner artwork has not grown cold. Kelly said the Bureau has confirmed sightings, from sources the Bureau deems credible, of the Gardner artwork in the years after it was stolen. He also identified three persons of interest in the Gardner case, all with ties to organized crime: Carmello Merlino, Robert Guarente, and Robert Gentile. Kelly said in the late 1990's, two FBI informants told the Bureau that Merlino was preparing to return Rembrandt's Storm on the Sea of Galilee, in an effort to collect the reward. However, Merlino and his crew were soon arrested in an aborted armored car heist and the painting was never returned. Kelly believes Guarente somehow passed control of the stolen Gardner artwork to Gentile, a Manchester, Conn. man. Kelly believes Gentile has ties to organized crime in Philadelphia, PA and that Gentile helped bring some or all of the stolen Gardner artwork to Philadelphia where it was last seen in 2000, offered for sale. In 2012 Gentile's home and property in Manchester, Conn. were extensively searched but no sign of the stolen Gardner artwork was located. However, Kelly said authorities recovered police paraphernalia, including "clothing, articles of clothing with police and FBI insignias on it, handcuffs, a scanner, two way radios, and Tasers" and these are not common items. Gentile, through his lawyer, denied having any connection to the Gardner art heist or with moving the artwork after the fact. Both Merlino and Guarente are now dead. If you have any information about the Gardner Museum artwork, call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI. There is a $5 million reward in this case. 
Read more (and see the video which includes an appearance by Anthony Amore, security director of the Gardner museum): http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/25583520/fbi-has-confirmed-sightings-of-gardner-artwork-after-heist#ixzz32SaaZt9e

In Ulrich Boser's book, The Gardner Heist: The True Store of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft (HarperCollins, 2009) the index included 11 references to Carmello Merlino who died in prison in 2005. Merlino is described as the "gangland captain" of David Turner who was picked up by the FBI on Feb. 7, 1999 and questioned about the Gardner heist (page 100):
"The FBI told me that they had information from several sources that I was an actual participant in the robbery," Turner recalled. "What was said was 'Give us the paintings right now, and you can go home."
Boser described Merlino as a 'South Boston mobster' (p. 101) whose:
'body shop grew into an underworld flea market for looted goods. "If there was something you wanted stolen, that was the place. You could go there and just put in an order, and they would have crews running all sorts of places, South Shore Malls, downtown, everywhere," retired state police officer Eddie Whelan told me.
[Interesting sidebar -- the art stolen from Jeffrey Gundlach was recovered by police in an automobile stereo shop in Pasadena, CA in 2012.]

Boser wrote on pages 105-107 that:
Merlino was picked up on a drug charge in 1992, and through an intermediary, he offered to return the paintings for a reduced prison sentence. He told prosecutors that the masterpieces were "very big and international," that the deal has to be kept quiet or he would be killed. But Merlino never offered any hard evidence of the lost art ... [but] it was clear that Merlino did not have direct access to the art, that he was attempting to secure the masterpieces from someone else.
Boser wrote on page 201:
Perhaps mob associate Robert Guarente was the mastermind? He was a friend of Turner's, a frequent visitor to Merlino's body shop, and had connections to Myles Connor. But Guarente died in 2004 without any sign of the paintings. The FBI confidential informant reports also imply that Turner himself had the loot. That seems impossible. Turner would have almost certainly given up the canvases to get out of his thirty-eight year prison sentence. 

August 17, 2013

In Bangor with Howie Carr: ARCA Trustee Anthony Amore Speaks About Art Crime

ARCA Trustee Anthony Amore, Director of Security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, joined syndicated talk show host and Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr in "An Evening of Crime" Friday night at Spectacular Event Center in Bangor (Dawn Gagnon, "Howie Carr sold-out Bangor show talks 'Whitey' Bulger, art thieves'", Bangor Daily News, August 17):
For the past seven years, Amore has also served as the museum’s chief investigator into the 1990 theft of 13 priceless works of art from the museum. 
Author of “Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists” with investigative reporter Tom Mashberg, Amore discussed some of the most infamous art heists of the 20th century, involving works valued $1 billion in total. 
Chief among the heists involved one at the at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which alone resulted in the loss of $500 million worth in paintings, etching and other works that have yet to be recovered. 
In that case, two men posing as Boston police officers were buzzed into the museum on March 18, 1990, after saying they were responding to a disturbance. They handcuffed the two night guards who were on duty and took them into the basement, where they were secured to pipes and their hands, feet and heads were duct taped. 
Amore described how the thieves made off with priceless works like Rembrandt’s Storm on the Sea of Galilee, A Lady and Gentleman in Black and a Self Portrait, Vermeer’s The Concert and Edouard Manet’s Chez Tortoni, according to the museum’s website. 
Not all art thieves, however, were so clever. Amore also regaled the audience with stories of robbers with more bravado than brains — among them Myles Connor, a notorious Boston art thief who unwittingly tried to sell works by Andrew Wyeth and NC Wyeth to an undercover FBI agent. He and several accomplices stole the paintings — along with several other famous paintings — from the Woolworth Estate in Monmouth, Maine, in the early 1970s. 
“When you steal these highly recognizable paintings, there’s no market for them. There’s no one out there who’s going to buy a painting that everyone knows is stolen. Especially when, even if you’re paying pennies on the dollar, you’re paying millions of dollars. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that people don’t spend lots of money on things they can never show anyone. 
“Myles found that out, he couldn’t find a buyer for these Wyeth paintings,” Amore said. “He looked and looked and looked and couldn’t find one. Then all of a sudden, he gets lucky and he comes across a guy named Bernie Murphy who wants to buy these paintings from him.” 
Murphy arranged to meet Connor in the parking lot of a Cape Cod IGA store to discuss a deal. 
“Myles is elated,” Amore said. “They go, they park next to each other, Myles opens his trunk and shows him the Wyeth paintings.” Unfortunately for Connor, the supposed buyer reaches into his pocket and pulls out his FBI badge.

April 15, 2013

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: How has the institution faired more than two decades after the theft? Former Undersecretary for Homeland Security Juliette Kayyman wrote about this last year

Here's an article overlooked by the ARCA Blog last year: In the Boston Globe, a former Undersecretary for Home Security, Juliette Kayyem, wrote in March 2012 of the "Gardner's narrative of resiliency" on the new addition to the institution:

In 1990, two thieves dressed as Boston police officers told the museum night guards on duty that they were responding to a call. The thieves passed the sole security door. There was just one alarm button at the time; only motion detectors traced their movements. There were no cameras. A mere 81 minutes later, they were in possession of the masterpieces worth, today, half a billion dollars. The investigation is ongoing. 
The new building could have been a fortress. But that would have made the theft the focal point of how we would perceive the museum. Instead, the colorless glass entry, the brick walls, even the enclosed corridor that passes from the new building through a grove of trees into Gardner’s historic courtyard serve as practical access controls. There are no doors for the public to the original Gardner mansion. A thief would now have to walk through a transparent glass tunnel, into the new building, and out a security door for the easiest exit. Though counterintuitive, its openness makes it more secure. 
While the museum is watched by hundreds of cameras, the new structure is designed to relieve some of the stress from Gardner’s old home by shifting the burdens of exit and entry to the much more modern and secure building. “There is simply no place in the museum where a thief can just grab art and get outside,’’ Anthony Amore, the head of museum security and author of “Stealing Rembrandts,’’ said.

March 25, 2013

The Gardner Heist: Journalist Tom Mashberg Weighs In

The FBI's press conference on the 23rd anniversary of the Gardner theft "was a hit, generating flashing Internet bulletins and global media coverage," wrote Tom Mashberg March 25 in "The Gardner Art Heist: The Thieves Who Couldn't Steal Straight" for Cognoscenti, Boston's NPR Radio Station.

Mashberg has covered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum case for 16 years. Of the FBI's press conference on March 18, 2013, Mashberg writes:
Since crowd-sourcing was the goal, the FBI should be pleased. But we didn't really learn anything new beyond the assertion that some of the stolen paintings made their way to Philadelphia a decade ago. I was invited to speak with investigators alone for a few minutes after the news conference. They are dedicated men to be sure, and they were candid: they told me that for now the train has "gone cold."
 It was attention grabbing to hear them say they know the identities of the thieves. (Keeping the names secret is wise from an investigative standpoint -- imagine the media swarm.) But any careful follower of the case can boil the list of likely robbers down to three men -- all Boston-area felons. My belief is that two of the thieves are dead, and the third is in prison. The dead men will tell no tales, but there is still a chance to squeeze the guy behind bars.
In this article, Mashberg proposes that the bank robber Robert F. Guarante (who died in 2004) took the art from the two original thieves who didn't know what to do with it.
A lot of these characters, chief among them a gangster named Carmello Merlino, also deceased, can be heard yapping on wiretaps about their plans to return the art for the $5 million reward money -- if only they could find it. It's the gang that couldn't steal straight.
Mashberg also proposes that it was Robert A. Donati (dead) who cased the Gardner Museum in the 1980s with art thief Myles J. Connor (in prison on the night of the Gardner Heist) who stole the fluted Chinese bronze beaker that night as a gift for Connor.

Mashberg, who co-write "Stealing Rembrandts" (2011) with Anthony M. Amore, states that "the crime was always a local job."




March 23, 2013

Gardner Heist: Night watchmen Rick Abath Gives Exclusive Television Interview to Randi Kaye in "81 Minutes Inside: The Greatest Art Heist in History" which aired on Anderson Cooper 360 on March 22

Rick Abath, one of the nightwatch men on duty March 18 when two men stole 13 paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, gave his first television interview to Randi Kaye for her story "81 Minutes Inside: The Greatest Art Heist In History" which aired on Anderson Cooper 360 CNN on March 22.

Rick Abath, who had working at the museum for about a year, began his night shift at 11.30 p.m. He explained that guards took turns walking through the museum and manning the security desk next to the employee entrance. On the night of the theft, Abath's "usual partner had called in sick" "so they paired him with a daytime gallery guard".

Ms. Kaye narrates:

Abath takes the first round which takes longer than usual. The fire alarm goes off for no apparent reason -- so does another alarm on the fourth floor. Then the other gallery guard does the round. It is 1.24 a.m. and Rick is alone at the guard desk. Two men dressed as Boston police officers buzz the side entrance and tell Abath that they are there because there's been a disturbance on the property.
Anthony Amore, Director of Security for the Isabella Stewart Gardner, explains to Ms. Kaye that it was against museum policy for the nightwatchman to let anyone into the museum.

While Abath concedes that this may have been the written policy, Abath says that the "culture" was to let museum employees in at night "at least once a month", including the director of the museum. "So it wasn't unusual for Rick to hear that buzzer go off," Ms. Kaye narrates.

Rick Abath explains that he had no reason to believe the men were not police officers until it was too late to reach the panic button.

The panic button on the guard's desk was not easy to reach. "It was the same kind of panic button at a bank or something," Rick Abath said. "It was up on the underside of the desk. But it was a fairly long desk and the computer that you had to be at to do your job was all the way to your left and it was all the way to the right so it just wasn't within arms reach."

March 22, 2013

Anderson Cooper 360 Features Documentary on Gardner Art Heist

Tonight Anderson Cooper 360 features a documentary, "81 minutes: Inside the Greatest Art Heist in History" at 10 p.m. ET (US). The show claims an exclusive television interview with Richard Abath, the night watchman who admits he was the guard on duty who "buzzed in" the two thieves disguised as police officers.

The segment also includes Anthony Amore, Security Director of the ISGM, walking journalist Randi Kaye through the known events of the 1990 theft in the early morning hours of March 18.

March 20, 2013

Boston Globe: Tip to Authorities in 2010 Led to Turning Point in Gardner Heist Investigation

Boston Globe: Photo by Steven Senne/AP at FBI conference
The Boston Globe reports that a 2010 tip to authorities led to the identity of the two men who robbed the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990, according to today's article "Tips pour in on Gardner Museum art theft" by Milton J. Valencia, Shelley Murphy, and Stephen Kurkjian.
The FBI and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum ­received a flood of tips from around the country Tuesday, as new details emerged about the turning point in the investigation of the notorious Gardner Museum heist 23 years ago. 

The latest, exhaustive phase in the inquiry is based on a tip that a caller made to authorities in 2010, according to Anthony Amore, the Gardner Museum’s head of security and chief investigator. 
He said Tuesday that the tip was so fruitful — leading to the announcement that investigators know the identities of the thieves and could trace the art from Boston to Connecticut and Philadelphia — that the FBI has since rededicated significant resources to investigating the heist. 
“That tip, plus thousands of man-hours, led to where we are today,” Amore said.
The Boston Globe article also comes back to Robert Gentile as a suspect:
The latest focus has been on Robert Gentile, a 75-year-old ailing Mafia figure with ties to organized crime in Philadelphia and Boston. His Connecticut home was searched last year in relation to the heist. He was charged with drug dealing and possession of an illegal firearm in what his lawyer called a tactic by the FBI to pressure him to disclose information about the heist. 
Gentile, who pleaded guilty and is slated to be sentenced in May, faces a lengthy prison term. His lawyer, Ryan McGuigan, has maintained that Gentile knows nothing about the heist or the whereabouts of the artwork. 
But investigators seem to have trained their focus on Gentile in the recent phase of the investigation. 
A person with knowledge of the FBI investigation, who asked to remain anonymous ­because of the sensitivity of the inquiry, confirmed Tuesday that investigators found a list of the art stolen from the Gardner, and the estimated value of the works, during the search of Gentile’s home. The discovery of the list was first ­reported by The Hartford ­Courant. 
Gentile also had close ties to organized crime figures in Philadelphia and in Boston, including the late Robert Guarente, who has been tied to almost every­one mentioned as a person of interest in the heist. 
Guarente, for instance, was close with the late Carmello Merlino, who ran an auto body shop in Dorchester and who, according to FBI reports, once tried to negotiate the return of the artworks. No deal ever came to fruition, and Merlino was later convicted in a scheme to rob an armored car depot in Easton. He said that he was set up by informants and that the FBI was pressuring him for ­information regarding the Gardner heist. Merlino died in prison in 2005 at age 71. 
Two other men were also convicted in the armored car depot scheme and received lengthy prison sentences, though they have denied knowledge of the heist or the ­location of the artwork. ­Stephen Rossetti, 54, who is Guarente’s nephew, is slated to be released in 2044, and David Turner, 45, is set to be released in 2025. 
Guarente died in 2004 at age 65. His wife has told authorities in recent years that she saw him give Gentile at least one painting some time around 2003, around the time authorities say some of the art was offered for sale in Philadelphia. The wife, however, did not describe the painting as one of the works taken from the Gardner.

ISGM Security Director Anthony Amore Calls Hunt for Stolen Gardner Paintings "an exercise in finding 13 needles in a haystack by making the haystack smaller"

FBI: An empty frame in the Dutch Room of the ISGM
by Catherine Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor

The FBI and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum have offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the return of the paintings.

The day after the FBI announced that they have identified the thieves responsible for the 1990 art heist, ARCA Trustee Anthony Amore, Director of Security for the Gardner Museum, told the ARCA Blog:
"As I have said many times in the past, this investigation is an excuse in finding 13 needles in a haystack by making the haystack smaller. The information we provided at the press conference shows that we continue this work, and that the haystack is smaller than ever."
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the U. S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts continue to work on this investigation with the FBI.

You may find more information here on the FBI's website.

And here's a link to an article in Harvard Magazine featuring Anthony Amore.

March 19, 2013

The Great Gardner Heist: 2010 Interview by "On Point" Tom Ashbrook

On the 20th anniversary of the theft of the ISGM, NPR's "On Point" Tom Ashbrook interviewed Anne Hawley, Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Anthony Amore, Director of Security. Amore, an ARCA Trustee, takes Ashbrook down to the basement to where the  museum's two security guards were handcuffed and duct-taped during the robbery.

October 18, 2012

Rotterdam Art Heist: ARCA in the Media

Here's a few links to ARCA associates recently published in the media:

In Noah Charney's "Secret History of Art" column for artinfo.com, the founder of ARCA writes on "Rotterdam Art Heist Likely for Ransom".

In The New York Times, ARCA Trustee Anthony Amore, Security Director for The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, writes as an Op-Ed Contributor about "Debunking the Myth of Glamorous Art Thieves" in "No 'Thomas Crown Affair'".

Niels Rigter of Metro published an article online here (in Dutch, loosely translated into English) quotes ARCA's CEO Lynda Albertson (also pictured) about the difficultly of selling stolen art.

Bloomberg's Catherine Hickley article, "Art Thieves Struggle to Convert Monet, Picasso Into Cash", includes an interview with ARCA CEO Lynda Albertson.

ARCA Instructor Tom Flynn's blog "artknows" in "Will we never learn from art theft? Value is in the eye of the beholder" points out that  stealing art is done for all sorts of reasons -- especially if the paintings are displayed in buildings that are "woefully deficient in security"as pointed out by Dutch security consultant Ton Cremers.

June 30, 2012

Anthony Amore Discussing "Stealing Rembrandts" on "It's a Crime" Saturday afternoon on the radio

Anthony Amore, Security Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and co-author of "Stealing Rembrandts: The Untold Stories of Notorious Art Heists", will be on "It's a Crime" on Saturday, June 30, at 1:00 p.m. The live radio show is hosted by Margaret McLean, an attorney and author of the legal thriller Under Fire (2011, Tor Forge McMillan). Here's a link to the program. "Stealing Rembrandts", written by Amore and journalist Tom Mashberg, will be released in paperback on July 3.

May 16, 2012

ARCA Founder Noah Charney and ISGM's Security Director Anthony Amore Talk about the largest art theft in US history and the hunt for the paintings 22 years later; NBC's "American Greed" to feature Gardner Museum Heist Tonight

Vermeer's "The Concert"
CNBC's Lindsay Nadrich (with Reuters contributing) writes about the 1990 robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum online "22 Years Later, $300 Million Art Theft Investigation Heats Up."

Last week's search of the Connecticut home of an alleged Mafia member, 75-year-old Robert Gentile, with a ground-penetrating radar device found two guns but no artworks.

Noah Charney, Founder of ARCA, is quoted here.
"Vermeer's "The Concert" is probably the single-most valuable missing artwork today," art crime expert Noah Charney said.
Anthony Amore, author of Stealing Rembrandts and an instructor at the ARCA program in 2009, issued a statement to CNBC:
"While the Museum continues to thrive, the investigation into the 1990 theft remains very active," Anthony Amore, the Gardner's security director, said in a statement, "We will continue to work every day to recover the stolen masterworks.
To hear the full story of the Gardner Museum Heist, watch "American Greed" Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CNBC (in the United States).

March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Celebrations Provided Distraction for the Robbery of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990

Rembrandt's The Storm on the
 Sea of Galilee
is his only seascape.
by Catherine Sezgin, ARCABlog Editor

The Boston Globe highlighted the 15th anniversary.  PBS News hour noted the 20th anniversary (along with numerous other media outlets). Anthony Amore, the security director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, has his contact information plastered on the museum's website to collect the lastest leads on the masterpieces stolen from Boston on St. Patrick's Day weekend in 1990.  Despite all these efforts and a $5 million reward for information leading to the recovery of stolen paintings by such recognizable artists as Rembrant and Vermeer, empty frames continue to save the spaces on the walls from where these masterpieces were hung by their benefactor.

In 2009, Ulrich Boster published a book, The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Art Theft and a year later the Federal Bureau of Investigation used billboards to get the public to help solve the mystery of the largest art theft in American history.  The thieves removed works of art highlighted by Vermeer's The Concert; Rembrandt's A Lady and Gentleman in Black; Rembrant's The Storm on the Sea of Galilee; Rembrandt's Self-Portrait; and Govaert Flinck's Landscape with Obelisk, and Manet's Chez Tortoni. You may view the images of the missing art on the website of Stolen the Film, Rebecca Dreyfus' documentary highlighting art detective Harold Smith's efforts and obsession to find the paintings.

Just after midnight, St. Patrick's Day celebrations in America's most Irish of cities provided cover for two unarmed men to enter the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum dressed as police officers and to leave 90 minutes later with 13 stolen items worth more than $300 million.  Unconditional immunity offered to anyone who helps locate or recover these paintings.

August 20, 2011

Anthony Amore, co-Author of "Stealing Rembrandts", on interviewing art thieves and whether or not James "Whitey" Bulger knows the whereabouts of the paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in 1990

by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-chief

Anthony Amore, head of security of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, is one the Board of Trustees of the Association for Research into Crimes against Art and taught a course in Museum Security for the ARCA program in International Art Crime Studies in 2009. He co-authored "Stealing Rembrandts" with Tom Mashberg, an award-winning investigative reporter and the former Sunday Editor for the Boston Herald.

Thirteen works of art, including three Rembrandts, were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston on March 18, 1990. Both Amore and Mashberg spent years studying all aspects of the world's largest unsolved art theft.

Anthony writes in his foreword to the book:
 "One of the more intriguing characteristics of the Gardner heist is that two of the stolen paintings, "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee" (1633) and "A Lady and Gentleman in Black" (1633), both by Rembrandt, were cut from their frames."
Amore puts forth the question as to why the two thieves, who spent a leisurely 81 minutes in the museum, risked damaging the paintings by slicing the two Rembrandt canvases from their stretchers:
"Were they so unschooled as to imagine they could manhandle the canvases without wreaking destruction on the paintings? That alone is a key insight into the culprits. Thieves schooled in art would have done no such thing. Moreover, the robbers anticipated that they were going to cut some paintings from their frames. Why else would they have brought along an instrument that was sharp and sturdy enough to slice through stiff, varnished paint and linen canvas? Two other major art thefts in Massachusetts (both involving Rembrandts, as the following chapters will show) were pulled off more than 15 years before the Gardner crime without anyone resorting to cutting canvases. Why do so now? Had these thieves learned their lessons in theft outside Massachusetts? Was this their first art crime?"
Anthony Amore's obsession with studying the ISGM theft and finding the paintings led him and co-author Mashberg to write about comparable thefts in this 245-page manuscript just perfect for summer reading in the hammock, on the beach, or in an airport. The language is accessible and the narrative strong, even when describing when and why Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) painted the artworks that are the subject of these thefts. The authors answer the question as to why anyone would care that these paintings have been stolen, remain missing, or how they were recovered.

ARCA Blog: The book tells of a heist at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts in 1972, orchestrated by Florian "Al" Monday, a man now in his seventies who was involved in art theft more than four decades ago.  Anthony, how did you contact Florian "Al" Monday and what was your experience interviewing him? Does he speculate about the whereabouts of the ISGM paintings?
Anthony Amore: I reached out to Al years ago to have a conversation about art theft. He still lives in Massachusetts and we know many of the same people so it was an interesting conversation. Al has been on the hunt for the stolen Gardner art for many years and can speak more knowledgably about the crime figures who do not have the art than he can about who does. Despite his criminal history and proclivity towards taking paintings that don’t belong to him, we’re friends and I quite enjoy talking to him.
ARCA Blog: Myles J. Connor Jr., an art thief, has authored a book about his adventures, including the theft of a Rembrandt painting on loan to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. What characteristics do you think Connor and Monday share as art thieves?
Anthony Amore: Myles and Al share a unique characteristic that sets them apart from virtually all other art thieves, and that is that both of them appreciate fine art and are knowledgeable on the subject. While this sounds admirable, in many respects it makes their crimes all the more worse, since they have a better understanding of the cost to society than a common criminal. And make no mistake: though they art aficionados, they stole art strictly for profit, not to enjoy it.
ARCA Blog: Carl Earnest Horsley agreed to speak with you about a 1973 theft in Cincinnati. He was under surveillance when he collected the ransom and left two stolen art works. Anthony, why do you think he finally agreed to speak about his role in the theft? What do you think he had in common with Monday and Connor?
Anthony Amore: I believe that Carl saw an opportunity to get his story out but also to let the world know that he has turned his life around and is now a legitimate businessman. I see Carl as an exception to the rule that people never change. He seems to have made an earnest attempt to go straight.
ARCA Blog: After looking at all these thefts, do you feel any closer to creating a profile of the thieves who robbed the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990?
Amore: Absolutely. I’ve felt that I have a clear picture of the sort of criminal who pulled off the Gardner heist.
ARCA Blog: Recently you were interviewed by John Wilson for BBC's "Front Row." On his blog, he speculates about the arrest of James "Whitey" Bulger and whether or not Boston's former crime boss has knowledge of the whereabouts of the paintings. Do you share Charley Hill's opinion (according to John Wilson) that the paintings have been in Ireland with some faction of the IRA?
Anthony Amore: I have the utmost respect for Charley Hill. His career is amazing, and, aside from being a wonderful guy, he is among the greatest art recovery agents in history. However (and Charley knows I feel this way), I do not share his belief regarding the IRA. I share the opinion of the Assistant US Attorney Brian Kelly that Bulger was not involved in the theft and has no information about it to share. We’re fortunate at the Gardner to have AUSA Kelly as the lead prosecutor for our case, as he is also the lead prosecutor in the Bulger case. He has put away all of Bulger’s cohorts, all of whom admitted to dozens of murders and other heinous crimes and have described all of Bulger’s exploits for juries and book readers alike. One would have to suspend an enormous amount of disbelief to think they wouldn’t admit to even the slightest knowledge about the Gardner theft. Add that to the fact that there’s not even the slightest bit of evidence pointing to an Irish connection, and I put that possibility very low on the list of likelihoods. Of course, all that being said, the paintings are still missing, so we cannot rule anything out. And if a person from Ireland shows up at our door with the art this afternoon, I’ll be very glad to admit that I was wrong!

August 16, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - , No comments

Anthony Amore Comments on the Alleged Rembrandt Drawing "The Judgement" found in Encino

The stolen 'Rembrandt' (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Anthony Amore posted on Facebook on August 16 that "The Judgement", the alleged drawing by Rembrandt stolen from a hotel in Marino del Rey on Saturday night, was found last night.  You may read more information here at this NBC link: "Rembrandt Lost and Found." Where was it found? Encino.

Update: The Los Angeles Times reports that the drawing was found in a church parking lot in Encino.

Another update on September 12, 2011: The Los Angeles County Sherriff's department is holding the alleged $250,000 Rembrandt drawing until the owners can prove that they have title to it, according to John Rogers reporting for the Associated Press "Case of LA's stolen Rembrandt intrigues art world".  If the owners cannot prove authenticity and title to the legal authorities in order to recover the artwork, how did they expect to sell it for one-quarter of a million dollars? Anthony Amore, security director for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and author of "Stealing Rembrandts" tries to put some perspective on the case.

ALR's Chris Marinello and ISGM's Anthony Amore Quoted About A Stolen Rembrandt Drawing from a California Hotel

Rembrandt's drawing "The Judgement"
 (The Linearis Institute)
Christopher Marinello, General Counsel for the Art Loss Register and a speaker at ARCA's International Art Crime Conference for two years, and ARCA Trustee Anthony Amore, Security Director for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, are quoted in a few articles about the theft of a Rembrandt Drawing from a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles.

The 1655 drawing, titled "The Judgement" and measuring 11 by 6 inches, is owned by the Linearis Institute of San Francisco. It was stolen Saturday evening with a diversion tactic: the curator was distracted by a potential sale while another person grabbed the quill ink-and-pencil drawing.

You may read a few of the articles here:




The latter article by Chris Reynolds for The Los Angeles Times describes more lucrative hotel robberies.

August 13, 2011

ARCA Trustee Anthony Amore Interviewed in PRI's The World: "Stealing Rembrandts: Why the Dutch Master is so popular with thieves"

Rembrandt's Jacob de Gheyn III, sometimes referred to as "the Takeaway"
PRI's The World, a one-hour weekday radio news show on the BBC, features ARCA Trustee Anthony Amore discussing the book he co-authored with journalist Tom Mashberg, "Stealing Rembrandts", on the date of publication release in the UK. You can hear the show here on their website.

August 12, 2011

ARCA Trustees Noah Charney and Anthony Amore Featured on BBC Radio 4's Front Row Program with John Wilson: Mona Lisa, Turner, Goya, Rembrandt

You can listen to John Wilson of BBC Radio 4's program, Front Row, discuss art thefts of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and works by Goya, Turner, and Rembrandt here on BBC's website. ARCA Trustees Noah Charney and Anthony Amore, security director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, are featured on the show. You may read more about this program and the books by the featured speakers on at Noah Charney's column, The Secret History of Art.

Anthony Amore, ARCA Board of Trustee and Security Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Will Be Discussing "Stealing Rembrandts" on BBC's "The World" Programme on August 12

Rembrandt's Jeremiah (1630)
by Catherine Schofield Sezgin, ARCA Blog Editor-in-Chief

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's security director, Anthony Amore, an ARCA Board of Trustee, will be discussing his book, "Stealing Rembrandts" (co-authored with Tom Mashberg), on BBC's "The World" program on August 12 when the book is released in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Amore, who taught museum security at ARCA's International Art Crime program in Amelia in 2009, has written about the thefts of works by the 16th century Dutch artist, Rembrandt van Rijn. The 245-page volume published by Palgrave MacMillan in New York in July, features heists in Worcester in 1972; Cincinnati in 1973; and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in 1975.

Many other thefts of Rembrandt paintings are covered in the book, including that of a 1933 robbery of the residence of a Stockholm art collector, of which included Rembrandt's Jeremiah Mourning for the Destruction of Jerusalem (1630).  The painting had been "kept from view for years while in the possession of Russian count S. A. Stroganoff in St. Petersburg before the First World War."  The day after the theft, Amore and Mashberg recount, a workman at the residence "led investigators to the masterpiece, then valued at $100,000, which he had stashed in the woods near Stockholm.  Today it resides safely in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and is valued at $100 million." 

You may find more information about the program here on the website of PRI's The World.