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A high-profile art theft from more than 20 years ago has led the FBI to the City of Brotherly Love. This week authorities released new information about the theft of more than $500 million in artwork from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The heist remains on the FBI’s list of Top Ten Art Crimes.

On March 18, 1990, two thieves dressed as Boston police officers gained access to the Gardner Museum, handcuffed two security guards to pipes in the basement and made off with rare works of art, including paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer.

The FBI says it has identified the thieves as “members of a criminal organization with a base in the Mid-Atlantic states and New England.” The agency hasn’t released their names yet, but it has revealed what it thinks they did with the works afterward.

“The FBI believes with a high degree of confidence that in the years after the theft, the art was transported to Connecticut and the Philadelphia region,” said Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, in a press release. “And some of the art was taken to Philadelphia, where it was offered for sale by those responsible for the theft.”

The news came on Monday, the 23rd anniversary of the theft. It also included an appeal: Authorities are asking for information leading to the 13 stolen works of art. A $5 million reward is also on the line. The publicity campaign launched to spread the word includes digital billboards in the Philadelphia region.

“With this announcement, we want to widen the ‘aperture of awareness’ of this crime to the reach the American public and others around the world,” DesLauriers said.

Anyone with information about the artwork can contact the FBI at 1-800-225-5324, or the Gardner Museum. Tips can also be submitted online at

This story was produced in cooperation with, a Washington, DC-based news blog about the local impact of the federal government.