Thursday, March 28, 2013

New Info on the Isabella Gardner Museum Theft...and Another Tragedy

The FBI thinks they know who stole all those paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum decades ago, back in 1990. Two men, dressed as policemen, tied up the security guards and stole millions of dollars of artwork. Details are here.

Chez Tortoni by Manet - one of the paintings. The thieves were quite particular about what they took.

The paintings included one of my favorite Rembrandts -- and the only Rembrandt, so far, at least, to show a boat scene. It's "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee," from the Bible story about Jesus walking on the water. Fourteen people are actually depicted, although there were only Twelve Disciples; it's thought Rembrandt actually painted himself in as a crewman. (The guy in the back, hauling on the sail.)

The museum did a very interesting thing -- it left the empty frames in place on the walls. What a visual way to emphasize their loss.

Now the authorities are saying the crooks belonged to an Eastern crime syndicate -- and they know who they are.

The Concert by Vermeer - another painting stolen

But no arrests...and no announcements of paintings recovered yet. Hmmm....

Full report's here. If you know more, do tell.


We didn't have paintings stolen -- but another tragedy hit tonight.

 Btw, you should know that this week has been extremely busy and a little zany, with all sorts of unexpected twists and delays. Sometimes life is like that, isn't it?

Just before midnight, the Brick came upstairs and started yelling. I'd bought a 25-yard bolt of quilt batting, and instead of taking it downstairs (where we keep Brickworks inventory), I'd just pushed it down. Easier to deal with, and I'd put it away when I went down tomorrow.

He said, "Just because you've been lazy, you now have a bigger mess to clean up."

I went and looked -- an entire Sam's Club-sized bottle of maple syrup (fortunately Aunt Jemima, not the real thing) had fallen down the back stairs. Somewhere halfway down, it burst open, and the stairs were liberally decorated with maple syrup. The bottom step was drenched in it.
      Thank God, when we redid the basement floor after the flooding, we just stuck to concrete -- because there was a small puddle of syrup there, too.

Oh boy. 

Except it wasn't caused by my throwing the batting. The bottle must have fallen off the storage shelf, then down the stairs, while I was cleaning up the laundry room. (I'd heard a thud, but didn't stop to investigate.)

Fortunately, some fabric kept on the stairs soaked up some of the syrup. (It's in the washing machine now, along with the clothes I wore to clean up. Everything was sticky.)I'd been planning on pulling up the nasty carpet on the back stairs anyway -- guess that job has moved to the top of the list.

So if you wonder whether the Bricks are sweet enough -- we are.

Remembered from an old-time Jack Benny radio show -- Titus Moody was talking about his friend, who'd died... "Yep, slipped into a vat of molasses and sweetened himself to death. They've been fighting the ants off his grave ever since."

Just glorious. And in case you're wondering, the batting's fine.

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