Daily Archives: May 19, 2009

The Gardner Heist by Ulrich Boser

The Gardner Heist recalls a famous, almost 20-year old and still unsolved theft of a gorgeous Vermeer (and a terrible, in my opinion, Rembrandt, and other assorted masterpieces) from the Gardner Museum in Boston. The theft exposes the weak link of any security system: the people, although to be fair the technology was not quite were it should have been. It also introduces a wonderful art detective (now dead, unfortunately) who spent years tracking down the paintings through the Boston underworld and beyond, and who taught the author many tricks of the trade. The author clearly wanted to be the one who solved the case but had to wrap up the book to meet the publisher’s deadline, I imagine, so we are treated to a tedious and lengthy description of various Boston mobsters, description that leads nowhere, but the first half of the book is enjoyable and instructive. Pay your security staff a little more and coach them to trust no one!

For amateurs of stories about art see The Forger’s Spell or Loot.


Filed under True story