Thursday, May 23, 2013
By Maureen Milliken
(Continued from page 1)
Rembrandt’s “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.”
“The reality is far more grimy and far less romantic,” they write. Most art theft is committed by “common criminals associated with local crime rings.”
Boy, that takes all the fun out of the story.
The art stolen from the Gardner wasn’t handled with care; it was ripped from its frames. Treated like loot, not art.
Mashpee was once led blindfolded into a Massachusetts warehouse where shadowy men took a rolled canvas out of a poster tube and let him have a brief look by flashlight. “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee”? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s hard to tell in a dark warehouse with a brief glimpse by flashlight.
That’s the kind of story the Gardner heist is.
Boiled down to the particulars, it is, yes, grimy and far less romantic.
And the Maine connection?
No windswept stone mansion out on the coast with waves crashing below and a secret gallery lovingly displaying “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” for an eccentric billionaire owner.
Much more grimy.
Some of the most beautiful paintings ever created, made to be appreciated and loved, remain rolled up in tubes, if not under floorboards in a Maine barn, then in some Philadelphia warehouse or Connecticut back closet.
Not romantic at all. Just pointless.
Maureen Milliken is news editor of the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kennebec Tales appears the first and third Thursday of the month.