drawn from the THE SACRAMENTO BEE.
With the arrest Wednesday of notorious Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, many in the art world are now asking: Could it provide a break in the greatest art heist in American history which included Vermeer’s Concert? Rumors have long swirled that Bulger, the head of the city’s powerful Irish-American mob at the time, may have played a role – or must have known who did. Some have speculated that he stashed the stolen masterpieces away to use as a “get-out-of-jail-free card” if he was ever caught. Others think he sent the paintings to allies in the Irish Republican Army to use as a bargaining chip. The Gardner Museum had no comment Thursday on the arrest other than a Tweet saying, “Until a recovery is made, our work continues.” Many who have studied the case are similarly skeptical about Bulger’s direct involvement. Last year, investigators in the Gardner case said there was no evidence in the mountains of wiretaps and other records to link Bulger to the crime.