Gardner Museum Closes Doors Due to Planned Climate Protest on 33rd Anniversary of Infamous Heist

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts closed its doors on Saturday due to a planned protest from climate activists.[0] The closure comes on the 33rd anniversary of the infamous heist at the museum that remains the world’s largest property theft.[1]

On the morning of March 18th, 1990, two imposters posing as Boston police officers gained entry to the Gardner Museum. They then proceeded to bind the two security guards present in the basement and stole 13 invaluable artworks.[2] The museum is still offering a $10 million reward for any information that leads to the return of the stolen works, but none of the artworks have yet been found.[3]

In a statement, the museum said they were “informed that climate activists were planning a protest inside the Museum that could potentially put our community and artworks at risk. After careful consideration, and an abundance of caution for the safety of our staff, volunteers, visitors and collection, we made the difficult decision to remain closed for the day.”[0]

U.S. District Attorney Rachel Rollins has made the investigation into the theft an active one and is hoping to soon announce renewed efforts to educate the public about the stolen works.[4] At certain points, demonstrators have damaged artwork, such as hurling potatoes at a Monet in a museum in Potsdam, Germany, and pouring soup onto a Van Gogh that was on exhibit in London.[1]


0. “On 33rd anniversary of heist, Gardner Museum closes due to planned protest” KTVZ, 18 Mar. 2023,

1. “Gardner Museum closes on anniversary of art heist after climate protest planned”, 18 Mar. 2023,

2. “Gardner Heist at 33 years” Yahoo! Voices, 17 Mar. 2023,

3. “Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: 33 Years Later and Still in the Dark” Caught In Dot, 18 Mar. 2023,

4. “Gardner Museum art heist happened 33 years ago” msnNOW, 18 Mar. 2023,

5. “Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum closed Saturday due to climate protest” The Boston Globe, 18 Mar. 2023,

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