The guard who opened the Gardner Museum in Boston to thieves dies

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The guard who opened the Gardner Museum in Boston to thieves dies
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He opened the door of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to thieves on the night of the heist of the century and now he has taken a possible secret to the grave: Richard Abath, who over three decades ago worked as a caretaker in the Boston house-museum when criminals still unknown persons took away 500 million dollars worth of works of art, he died at the age of 57 at his home in Vermont after a long illness. The 1990 theft was never solved, and the last person authorities considered a potential suspect – mobster Robert Gentile – died in 2021. “We regret the passing of Richard Abath,” a woman told the Boston Globe. spokesperson for the museum offering condolences to the family and recalling that the investigation into the coup of the century is still open. The mystery of the masterpieces stolen from Isabella Stewart Gardner is one of the most mysterious in the history of art. The museum has placed a reward of ten million dollars in exchange for information leading to the recovery of the 13 masterpieces stolen on March 18, 1990 and of which all trace has been lost: among these a Vermeer and three Rembrandts. Abath was at the time a 23-year-old musician who was passionate about the Grateful Dead: that fateful night he opened the door to two thieves disguised as policemen who made away with the Rembrandts including the famous Storm on the Sea of Galilee, a Degas, the very rare Vermeer esteemed 200 million dollars (the highest value for a stolen painting), and then a Manet and seven other masterpieces. Once inside, the two thieves tied up Abath and another guard. Despite having always denied having been aware of the criminals or of the theft plan, the custodian has always been viewed with suspicion by investigators and has now taken any secret to the grave. “A good man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time died. That theft was a curse he always had to live with,” said his lawyer George Gormley. Undoubtedly, in the years after the theft, the former custodian's standard of living never gave rise to the suspicion that he had received a bounty on the theft of the paintings. Potential new revelations about the fate of the paintings appear periodically in the Boston media, one of which, in 2016, spoke of a hiding “under the concrete floor” of a house in Florida that belonged to an unspecified mafia boss. The museum, expanded by Renzo Piano, is one of the most interesting in Boston. Around a Venetian-style courtyard inspired by the Italian Renaissance, it houses a collection of over 2,500 works of European, Asian and American art. Nothing, by will of the owner, has been touched since she was still alive. And so it is that nothing has been hung on the walls in place of the Vermeer, the Rembrandts and the other stolen paintings.

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