This is a Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist Review
This was a fascinating look into a world that I have never stepped foot in before.
The World’s Biggest Art Heist happened in 1990 in Boston in a museum called the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum. A bunch of paintings and some other items were stolen during a night heist and to this day those items have never been found.
To put into perspective how important these works of art are, the museum is offering a $10 million award for their safe return, and $10 million is definitely not something to be sniffed at.
Throughout this docu-series there was plenty of speculation around who could’ve been part of the heist. One thing that really stuck out to me was the fact that these robbers, dressed as Boston police to gain entry, gained the entry so easily and also didn’t kill the people that were guarding the museum that night.
Now of course a thief is different to a murderer, if you steal something you’re probably going to get a lesser sentence than if you murder another human being, but it was still interesting to me that these men weren’t murdered and the fact the guard let the policemen in seemed far too corporative. Now in the docu-series they blame it on the fact that he does drugs and he is in a band and he had bad ties with the museum anyway, but it definitely does raise suspicion around him and why he was so okay with letting these policemen in, and why some of the evidence that they found around the security area of the museum was there in the first place.
But this line of inquiry was quickly overlooked by the fact there are mafia and mob gangs within Boston and they could’ve worked together to create this art heist. I think the most interesting thing about this storyline is not how or what they did with the paintings or how they stole the paintings but more why they stole them.
Before this heist a man was able to get out of jail because he could produce a stolen piece of artwork and in a way swapped this painting for his jail time, so people believed that these heists were carried out against this art museum because 1. the art is so priceless and 2. they saw it as a get out of jail free card.
On the open market of the art world these paintings could not be resold or make any sort of money because people would know that they were stolen. Of course if you have underground buyers who are into that sort of stuff maybe you could make money from it that way, but the idea that these paintings were stolen just as a bargaining tool in case these mobsters were arrested in the future is an absolutely fascinating concept to me.
Imagine you’re going down for murder, you’ve killed another human being and you’re looking at life imprisonment with no chance of parole, and then you produce a priceless artwork that has been missing for a few decades and you say to the police ‘if I give you this painting you have to give me no jail time or less jail time’ now if you’re crime is that serious how fascinating is it that you can get away with that just because they want the paintings back so badly.
Of course these are priceless works of art that can never be reproduced again by the artist and so you’re going to want them safe and it’s fascinating that these men were able to see that and think they could use that to their advantage. To me that’s so clever and the way that they got away with it so easily, it seems with the evidence going missing and how easy it was to get past the guards and how long they got to spend in the museum , they basically had free reign and no wonder they had the confidence to do it because clearly it all would’ve worked in their favour.
And I say it would’ve worked in their favour and that’s because everyone that is on the police radar of committing this heist is dead apart from one man. Some of these men died from natural causes whereas some of them were murdered, and a lot of these murders are still unsolved. It’s a fascinating tale to me and there’s so many layers to it that you just want to keep peeling them back to find out as much information as you can. From this documentary I think you get a lot of information that really makes you intrigued to find out more about the whole story.
Will these paintings ever turn up? Well only one person that could’ve done the heist is still alive so why would he give these paintings up? Why would he do this, that, the other with the fact that he could have an array of paintings in his arsenal why would he give them all up? Surely if you want to keep getting out of jail you’d give them up one at a time because the police seem to be incapable of finding them by themselves and if you have that power imagine what you could do with it.
You don’t have to be into art to appreciate this docu-series. If you like crime then of course it’s going to be right up your street and to me it is one of the more fascinating crime series that I have watched. I love heists anyway because they’re so intricate and so while this might not be your usual choice of show to watch I definitely recommend it because it is so intriguing.
What do you think of The World’s Biggest Art Heist?
Until next time.