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FBI investigates Messier involvement in Gardner Museum heist
February 11, 2005 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Former head of Vivendi, Jena-Marie Messier, is being investigated by the FBI for possible involvement with the infamous Gardner Museum art heist.
posted by anathema (7 comments total)

 
Jean-Marie Messier.
posted by anathema at 7:35 AM on February 11, 2005


The year this happened, I was a student at Mass Art, and was employed part-time as a security guard at the Gardner Museum (conveniently, it's right across the street from Mass Art's Tower Building). I worked 3rd shift security in the months previous to the robbery, and was appalled at how easily the guards working that night were conned. The thieves posed as cops supposedly checking an alarm that was going off, even though the whole alarm system was there to see RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. Those guards were far too trustful of authority figures. In those days I HATED cops and would have never let them in.

A quick phone call to Boston PD dispatch could have foiled the greatest art heist in history.

And no, I was not involved, and yes, all my art school buddies demanded invitations to see my Vermeer and Rembrandts. I consider myself very fortunate to have spent so many hours studying these paintings before they were taken....
posted by Scoo at 7:36 AM on February 11, 2005 [6 favorites]


For further background on the heist and fascinating twists in the investigation also check out:

The Heist and the Hunt [Time Magazine | October 13, 1997)

"Here & Know" Audio Documentary [WBUR | June 04, 2002]

New Theory Airs on Gardner Museum Theft [Boston Globe | March 11, 2004]
posted by ericb at 8:45 AM on February 11, 2005


I am grateful too that I had the chance to see them in the 80's. but whenever I visit the museum I still shake my fist at the assholes who didn't protect the ISG well enough -- it looked like they assumed nobody would try to steal there because it would have been rude.

The Storm is just irreplaceable. I hope they get it back -- I sometimes wonder, if they could manage to get back only one painting stolen during that heist, what would I choose to get back.
strangely enough, I hope it's the Storm, not the Concert. and this from a manic Vermeer fan.
posted by matteo at 10:00 AM on February 11, 2005


ericb: the idea of the IRA stealing the paintings on St Patrick's Day just boggles the mind
posted by matteo at 10:01 AM on February 11, 2005


Yeah - the investigation here in Boston of the heist has involved the pursuit of some interesting paths.

Coincidentally, in his book "The Irish Game: A True Story of Crime and Art", British journalist Matthew Hart pulls back the curtain on the world of international fine art thieves. "Through the investigation of various [art] crime[s]....Hart follows a seedy trail that ties into the Irish Republican Army and the global trade in illegal drugs and weapons." [from How Art Thieves Play the 'Irish Game' - NPR radio program | July 4, 2004].

BTW - ABC's "Primetime Thursday" recreated the heist in March 2004.
posted by ericb at 11:58 AM on February 11, 2005


More recently, the IRA was again implicated in another non-traditional fundraising effort.
posted by samuelad at 9:46 PM on February 11, 2005


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