In March of 1990, two thieves dressed as Boston police officers gained entrance to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston Massachusetts and successfully executed the largest art ...
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In March of 1990, two thieves dressed as Boston police officers gained entrance to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston Massachusetts and successfully executed the largest art heist in modern history. Among the thirteen priceless works stolen was Vermeer's "The Concert" one of only 35 of the masters surviving works. Not a single one of the works has been recovered. STOLEN is a full exploration of the Gardner theft, and the fascinating, disparate characters involved: from the 19th century Grand dame Isabella Gardner to a private detective obsessed with finding the art to a terrorist organization with a penchant for stealing Vermeers.Written by
As an American woman of African, and a little bit of European, descent, I found it interesting how the people featured in the movie identified so intensely with European art objects. It explained a lot to me about European cultural dominance. Much is made in the film about Mrs. Gardener's love affair with Venice, obsession with "salvaging" European architectural fixtures, etc., to the point of even calling herself "Europa." I understand the concept of how certain human-made objects can be esteemed to the level of the sacred by the culture that produced them. But I just can't get worked up about these stolen paintings as if their theft represents an atrocity against humanity. I do love paintings, and have been moved greatly by looking on many wondrous works over the years by a diverse range of artists, from Goya to Jacob Lawrence, but there's always more where that came from. Let's move on to supporting the next generation of Vermeers. Or just wake up to the beauty of a neighborhood mural celebrating local lives. Just because these paintings were enshrined by this museum did not make them impervious to criminality. In terms of style, this documentary was repetitive and low on insights. I was disappointed in the way the filmmaker so often took the sappy, handwringing route, spent far too much screen time on the suffering art investigator, without exploring what one of the experts said: "It's not about the admiration of art; the theft was about power."
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