"disposed of long ago"

May 5 2016

Image of "disposed of long ago"

Picture: Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum

In Apollo Magazine, James Ratcliffe of the Art Loss Register suggests that the priceless works stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum in 1990 (including a Vermeer, above) have probably been destroyed:

What has transpired in the case of these pictures perfectly demonstrates why, for the thieves or those now holding them, such artworks have no value. They are simply too well known, too recognisable, to be sold – and the mere possession of them will have become a millstone around someone’s neck. Who could possibly approach an auction house or dealer with Rembrandt’s Storm on the Sea of Galilee (1633) without expecting to feel the full force of the law within minutes? Indeed, who could even allow another person to catch a glimpse of the painting, when revealing its location might lead to a $5 million reward for the viewer, and a prison sentence for the holder – the length of which would doubtless reflect the scale of the search for the artworks?

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