This is a Robbery: The World's Greatest Art Heist: (entire series)
April 12, 2021 12:36 PM - All Seasons - Subscribe

In 1990, two men dressed as cops con their way into a Boston museum and steal a fortune in art. Take a deep dive into this daring and notorious crime.

This series has everything: art crimes, mob guys, seriously strong Boston accents, stoner guards, a cool painting of a boat, the IRA, Napoleonic finials and a 10 million dollar reward for an unsolved 30 year old crime.

A short, 4-episode mini-series currently streaming on Netflix.

The Gardner, previously on Metafilter
posted by bondcliff (5 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I found this series fascinating. I remember the robbery though I was only 20 at the time and not really paying much attention to that sort of thing. It comes up again every now and then when there's a new lead but so far, nothing. In the Before Times, I would often walk by the Museum on my way between my building and the hospital campus and, though I've never been inside, it always amazed me that such a crime took place in what from the street is a pretty unremarkable building.

Me personal theory (and I expect you'll all have your own), is that the artwork will never be recovered. Given that just about all the suspects have since passed I suspect they were in a storage locker or basement and got so damaged that they were destroyed, or they are buried somewhere in some long forgotten location and will never be found. I hope I'm wrong.

As they said, these aren't the sort of things you could sell or display easily. I like the "get out of jail free card" theory that was presented in the series, though I think anyone who might have used them for that died before they were able.
posted by bondcliff at 12:45 PM on April 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

I just found this last night. Fascinating story - I watched 3 eps back-to-back. Good production (imo). Will catch the last one tonight.
posted by sundrop at 7:09 AM on April 13, 2021

Knew slightly the brother of one of the guards that night. This is the east boston crowd that would've been on nodding basis with other infamous bostonians that made national news occasionally. (Can't believe a boring westcoast whitebread guy can write that) All was unspoken but certainly family rifts due to gender identification among other barely innuendo-ed side glances.

Rembrandt's Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee was kinda my favorite painting ever, just grabbed me the first time I saw it, large and dramatic, felt like being out in harsh weather. Just a gut punch when it was lost. The frame stands empty.
posted by sammyo at 9:30 AM on April 13, 2021

We listened to the podcast series Last Seen, about the thefts, from 2018. It was interesting, but seemed rather padded out wrt the various theories and clues.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 9:22 AM on April 14, 2021

So I finished this last night after reading a ton of breathless media coverage about how this was the next "it" docuseries. Thought the first episode was great but lost patience with the expanding web of mafia guys referenced in the last 3 episodes. We would be introduced to a mafia guy, hear only vague mafia mad-libs details about him ("He was infamous for... _Doing Crimes_ with _Cars_" -- uh ok), see his mugshot again and again with a foreboding sepia-toned filter, then learn, oh, he died a long time ago and we have no proof he did it, time for the next mafia guy! I think the series would have been better as a 90-minute film, a la last year's HBO doc The Mystery of DB Cooper (highly recommend if you like unsolved mysteries!)

I also felt like they interviewed too many people in general, leaving us with nobody to root for. Instead of interviewing 3 or 4 journalists, what about making 1 journalist a main character, learning about their childhood, focusing on their emotional connection to the story, etc. Or the museum director, making her more of a protagonist, learning how this affected the rest of her career. Maybe this has been such a famous story over the years that the interviewees had all been profiled a zillion times and were too media-savvy to reveal personal details. Or maybe they're all still scared of the one remaining mafia guy who's now out of prison?
posted by rogerroger at 11:59 AM on April 23, 2021

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