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    George Clooney set to play ex-Gardner director


    Understandably, the folks at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum are looking forward to George Clooney ’s next movie, in which the Hollywood hunk will play George Stout , the director of the Gardner from 1955 to 1970. (He was long gone by 1990, when thieves dressed as Boston cops made off with paintings by, among others, Vermeer and Rembrandt.) The movie is based on Robert Edsel ’s book, “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History,” about a group of American and British art experts enlisted to track down European art stolen by Hitler’s forces during World War II. Clooney (inset bottom), who co-wrote the screenplay, will play Stout (inset top), and the A-list cast also includes Daniel Craig , Jean Dujardin , Bill Murray , and Cate Blanchett . Stout, who’s widely considered to be the father of modern museum conservation, was the Gardner’s second director, and the museum still has many of his tools and pigments. Something tells us Gardner director Anne Hawley is hoping Clooney will come by to research his role. Filming is set to begin in March.