Robert Gentile, Linked to Gardner Museum Art Theft, Dies |
HARTFORD, Conn. – Robert Gentile, a mobster who for years denied authorities’ suspicions that he knew anything about a multimillion-dollar treasure trove of artwork that was stolen in a robbery museum in 1990 and who is still missing, died. He was 85 years old.
His attorney, Ryan McGuigan, said Gentile died Sept. 17 after suffering a stroke.
Investigators had suspected that Gentile may at some point have had possession of at least some of the artwork taken in March 1990 from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
During this theft, two men showed up at the museum at night dressed as police officers. They held off the security guards and left soon after with 13 pieces from the collection, including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Degas. The art was never found.
Gentile, who had an extensive criminal record and served time in prison, is believed to have ties to people believed to have obtained the art after it was stolen, but he denied ever having had any of the works. .
“I have nothing to do with the paintings. It’s a big joke,” Gentile said in a phone interview with The Associated Press in 2019 after his release from prison.
The authorities didn’t think so. They said the widow of another mobster said her husband gave Gentile two of the paintings and that Gentile told about the stolen artwork in prison.
During a search of his home that led to his 2013 conviction for illegal sale of prescription drugs and possession of firearms, silencers and ammunition, prosecutors said federal agents found a handwritten list stolen paintings and their estimated value, as well as a newspaper article about the museum. robbery a day after it happened.
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