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Boston's last, great unsolved mystery
The Gardner heist: On March 18, 1990, Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was robbed of 13 valuable works of art by two thieves dressed as police officers. On this page, you can learn more about the Globe's re-examination of the case, view the lost masterpieces, watch how the thieves broke in, and review the investigation over the years.

Produced by Kailani Koenig-Muenster and Monica Ulmanu/Globe Staff
Video/photos: David L. Ryan, Alan Miller, Kailani Koenig-Muenster, and other Globe Staff
3D modelling and animation: Javier Zarracina and Gus Wezerek/Globe Staff


audio gallery

// Learn about the stolen masterpieces

Globe critic Sebastian Smee delves into the significance of each missing piece of art.

March, 19, 1990: The day after the theft

$200m Gardner Museum art theft

Two men posing as police officers gained entry to the museum, restrained two security guards, and left with more than a dozen stolen masterpieces.

Special section: The Gardner Grows

The Gardner Grows

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum looks to the future with its new wing. A special section gives you the complete tour, with interactive graphics, 360 degree panoramas, videos, galleries, and more.


boston globe pages

// Gardner heist newspaper coverage

Sift through the Globe’s pages in the days following the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum thefts.



// Scars of the heist

View the empty frames inside the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Globe's involvement in investigation

// Boston Globe had role negotiating with possible Gardner heist suspect

In April 1994, the museum received an overture that Gardner officials regarded as a promising lead in the case.

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