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Robert Gentile, linked to Gardner Museum art theft, dies

By September 23, 2021September 26th, 2021Museum art

HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP) – Robert Gentile, a gangster who for years denied authorities suspicion that he knew anything about a multi-million dollar treasure trove of art that was stolen in a museum heist in 1990 and who is still missing, has died. He was 85 years old.

His lawyer, Ryan McGuigan, said Gentile died on September 17 from a stroke.

Investigators suspected Gentile at one point of having at least some of the artwork taken in March 1990 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

In this theft, two men showed up at the museum overnight dressed as police officers. They held back the security guards and left shortly after with 13 pieces from the collection, including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Degas. Art has never been found.

Gentile, who had an extensive criminal record and served a prison sentence, was suspected of having ties to people suspected of recovering the art after it was stolen, but denied ever having had any of the works. .

“I had nothing to do with the paintings. It’s a big joke, ”Gentile said in a 2019 telephone interview with The Associated Press after his release from prison.

The authorities did not think so. They said the widow of another gangster said her husband gave Gentile two of the paintings and that Gentile spoke about the stolen labor in prison.

In a search of his home that led to his 2013 conviction for illegally selling prescription drugs and possessing 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. heist a day after it happened.

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