How can there still be no leads or arrests in the theft of over a dozen priceless masterpieces nineteen years later? This mysterious case began the night of Saint Patrick’s Day in 1990, when two men dressed as policemen were mistakenly let into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. They then left with dozens of priceless works by Degas, Vermeer and Rembrant. Since then, there have been countless leads and interviews, along with a $5 million reward, but still no trace of any of the paintings.
These missing pieces or “the Holy Grail of the art world” have been studied and examined by many investigators, including Harold Smith, one of the world's greatest art detectives. He made solving this mystery his life's work and believed he was just inches away from cracking the case before he died a few years ago. Ulrich Boser spent significant time with Smith and has been granted access to all Smith's research and notes. In "The Gardener Heist", Boser tells the story of this captivating theft--a story of obsession and loss, of art and greed, of mob bosses and wealthy socialites, exploring Smith’s unfinished leads and new angles.
On Wednesday, February 25th at 7PM, Ulrich Boser will read from his work of nonfiction, "The Gardener Heist" at RiverRun Bookstore on 20 Congress Street in downtown Portsmouth. For more information on the event, visit www.riverrunbookstore.com or call (603) 431-2100.
This article appears in the February 2009 issue of New Hampshire Magazine