Monday, March 18, 2013
FBI knows who stole SIROCCO’S Cover
An art theft that had frustrated the authorities for decades, the FBI today released news that it had identified those who stole $500 million worth of paintings in a daring heist from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990.
Among the stolen paintings was one of Rembrandt’s masterpieces, and I used a public domain image for the cover of Sirocco, Storm over Land and Sea. I even wove its fictitious acquisition into my thriller (check out the foreword to the novel).
Imagine my shock—and delight—when I heard the news (twenty-three years to the day) that the FBI had a lead. Alas, not to the painting itself (yet), but at least to those who committed this audacious theft. In the back of my mind, I always hoped for someone to pick up my book and recognize the painting as the very one hanging in his or her “Uncle Guido’s private study.” That really would have made my day (as well as the museum’s, I would imagine).
Even though these paintings are worth millions, one can never sell them on the open market. As they say in the art world: The crux of the matter is provenance, my dear. Always, prove the provenance.
Do you know where your paintings come from?
By the way, there is a $5 million reward for the recovery of those paintings...