9. BOSTON’S ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM
The Stewart museum opened in 1903 as a benevolent gift to the people of Boston, USA. Up until March 18, 1990 it was home to an exceptional collection of masterpieces including works by Rembrandt and Johannes Vermeer. That was until two thieves pulled off what Wikipedia states as, “The largest art theft in world history”, by stealing works of art worth $500 million.
The theft was expertly planned although not exactly careful in its execution. The museum’s night-watchman didn’t help matters by letting two “cops” through the security door without first making the necessary checks with the BPD. Ten minutes later he and his fellow guard were bound and gagged as the two thieves went to work ransacking the galleries. The crooks left with 13 works of art; Johannes Vermeer’s “The Concert,” was one of only 36 known paintings by the 17th Century Dutch master.
Although the FBI is certain a criminal gang was responsible for the heist, the paintings were never found, never turned up in an auction and the thieves were never caught.